Queen Elizabeth reflected on the "appalling" attacks that have hit the cities of Manchester and London this year in her annual Christmas message.

"This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester whose powerful identities shone through over the past twelve months in the face of appalling attacks," the British monarch said.

The overall theme of the message was home, and how its destruction can be catastrophic.

In May, an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was bombed by attacker who was in contact with the Islamic State. The Queen said visiting survivors of the Manchester attack, many of whom are children, was a privilege.

The Queen also extended her condolences to those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June.

"We are indebted to members of the emergency services," she added.

On a more uplifting note, the 91-year-old Queen said she was grateful for 70 years of marriage to Prince Philip and remarked on the changing pace of technology in the 60 years she has delivered an annual Christmas message.

"Who could have imagined that people would one day people would be watching this on laptops and mobile phones," she said.