Queen Elizabeth II to praise UK's response to extremism

Queen Elizabeth II plans to use her Christmas message to praise London and Manchester for pulling together after extremist attacks this year.

Remarks pre-recorded by the monarch will be televised on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom and 51 other Commonwealth countries.

Excerpts released by Buckingham Palace indicate Elizabeth hails the "powerful identities" of Manchester and London.

The queen, her husband Prince Philip and family members plan to attend a church service Monday near Elizabeth's country estate in Sandringham. They typically mingle with locals who come to watch them arrive.

The royal family has a private lunch scheduled afterward. This is the first Christmas the family will be joined by Prince Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle.

Elizabeth and Philip missed last year's service with the flu.