'We remember the birth of Jesus Christ, whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem. He knew rejection, hardship and persecution.'

Her Majesty the Queen has spoken of her Christian faith in her Christmas message, saying Christ has inspired her “through good times and bad”.

In her annual message, the Queen focused on the theme of ‘home’, and praised volunteers who were providing meals to the homeless of Christmas Day.

“We remember the birth of Jesus Christ, whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem. He knew rejection, hardship and persecution,” the Queen said.

“And, yet, it is Jesus Christ’s generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad. Whatever your own experience is this year, wherever and however you are watching, I wish you a peaceful and very happy Christmas.

The Queen also praised London and Manchester for pulling together after terror attacks this year, hailing the cities’ “powerful identities”.

Her Majesty, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and family members attended an Anglican church service on Christmas morning near the Queen’s country estate in Sandringham. Afterwards, the Royal Family had a private lunch.

Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle joined the family for the first time this year.