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22/12/06
'Nurture the Young,' Says the Queen at Christmas
- Royal message to be backed up with award to Zara Phillips

THE QUEEN'S Christmas Day message of inter-generational respect is to be exemplified by Her Majesty handing a New Year's Day gong to her grand daughter, Zara Phillips.

Each year at 3.00pm on Christmas Day, the Queen broadcasts a themed-message to the nation and this year the focus is on, "the wisdom and experience of the great religions [which] point to the need to nurture and guide the young, and to encourage respect for the elderly."

A week later, the Queen produces the traditional New Year’s Honours list, when people are handed awards and medals for their outstanding efforts across a broad range of activities from business to charity, the arts and sport.

Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne, this year gained a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games, which helped her win the recent BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Leaks suggest this sporting success has led to the odd situation where her grandmother will place a New Year's Honour – probably an MBE - around her neck.

Alive to possible accusations that Phillips has an unfair inside track to a royal award, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: "She will have had to go through exactly the same process as anyone else."



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