THE Queen’s observation in her Christmas message that “giant leaps often start with small steps”, 50 years after the moon landing, was even more fitting on the day that Prince George, her great grandson, joined senior members of the Royal Family for the first time at church at Sandringham.
Accompanied by Princess Charlotte, his younger sister, this was another milestone for the six-year-old future King as he is prepared, in the very best traditions, for a life of duty and service.
And while Royal commentators, and wellwishers, ponder over the precise reasons why the Queen described the past year as “quite bumpy”, and whether this was a discreet reference to family or political matters, or both, Her Majesty did use the past to look to the future.
Referencing the D-Day landings 75 years ago, and the symbolism of former “sworn enemies” coming together at commemorative events in June, she then turned to current challenges and singled out “new generations” for bringing “a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate”.
And with the twin themes of unity and reconciliation underpinning the entire passage of this very thoughtful Queen’s Speech, it can be said, with confidence, that her words were particularly aimed at younger generations.
This was illustrated by the touching footage of Prince George enthusiastically stirring a Christmas pudding to mark four generations of the Royal Family supporting a Royal British Legion project to provide extra support for military veterans suffering from loneliness.
It was another reminder that the Royals are the embodiment of this country, even in turbulent times, and small steps, like the significant ones taken by Prince George, will, in time, make a difference to the countless good causes that his family support as they follow the Queen’s exemplary example.