Sporting theme to Queen's message

The Queen's Christmas message tomorrow will highlight the importance of sport as way to help build communities and create harmony.

The monarch's annual broadcast will also focus on how games and exercise can positively distance people from their day-to-day lives.

The Royal Family are all keen sportsmen and women who take part in activities ranging from polo to golf.

Some have even represented the UK in their chosen fields, like the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips – a former world three-day eventing champion – who followed in the footsteps of her mother the Princess Royal, who was also a member of the national equestrian team.

The Duke of Edinburgh, his son the Prince of Wales and grandsons Princes William and Harry have all played polo, with Philip and Charles now retired from the sport.

During her address, the Queen will say: "In the parks of towns and cities, and on village greens up and down the country, countless thousands of people every week give up their time to participate in sport and exercise of all sorts, or simply encourage others to do so.

"These kinds of activity are common throughout the world and play a part in providing a different perspective on life."

The monarch's message will also focus on how sport can be used to encourage the development of vital social skills.

"The importance of games is illustrated by footage showing William and Harry and a group of young African orphans from Lesotho all bonding as they played football during a tour of southern Africa.

The messages are normally recorded at Buckingham Palace but this year the Queen suggested Hampton Court Palace as an alternative – the first time it has been used.

She is featured preparing for the recording and standing as a technician adjusts a microphone above her head, which has a sprig of festive holly on it.