By Hilary White

LONDON, December 24, 2007 ( – Fifty years ago this Christmas, the young Queen Elizabeth II broadcast her Christmas message to the nation asking Britons to defend traditional morality in the face of a rapidly changing world. Christmas day 1957 was the first time the Sovereign’s message was broadcast on television. The message has been posted to the online video website YouTube as part of the “official YouTube Channel for the British Monarchy” approved by the Royal Family.

In her 1957 Christmas message, the recently crowned Queen said her address to the nation on television “is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us.” She said, “Because of these changes I’m not surprised that many people feel lost and unable to decide what to hold on to and what to discard, how to take advantage of the new life without losing the best of the old.”

She spoke gently of the feelings of many at the time, as Britain continued to rebuild after WWII, that profound changes had come not only in technology but in the meaning and purpose of life. She urged her subjects to retain their “ageless ideals and moral and religious values which were even then under threat from those she called “the cynics”.

“But it’s not the new inventions which are the difficulty. The trouble is caused by unthinking people who carelessly throw away ageless ideals as if they were old and outworn machinery,” the Queen said.

“They would have religion thrown aside,” she warned, “morality in personal and public life made meaningless, honesty counted as foolishness, and self-interest set up in place of self-restraint.”

The Queen said that with Britain at a “critical moment in our history, we will certainly lose the trust and respect of the world, if we just abandon those fundamental principles, which guided the men and women who built the greatness of this country and commonwealth.”

She said that in these circumstances, the British people “need a special kind of courage.”

“Not the kind needed in battle, but the kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right, everything which is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics. So that we can show the world that we’re not afraid of the future.”

Citing the growth of the British Commonwealth, the Queen said that these nations admire Britain “largely because we’ve always tried to do our best to be honest and kindly and because we have tried to stand up for what we believe to be right.”

The young Queen concluded, ” I believe in our qualities and in our strengths. I believe that together we can set an example to the world which will encourage upright people everywhere.”

The page was set up on YouTube with the encouragement of the Royal Family, to display film footage of the activities of “the Family Firm”, some of which date to the days of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Films include footage of the late Queen Mother’s wedding in 1923 and state occasions with all the pomp and circumstance for which the English are famous such as the opening of Parliament. They include also more personal video documentaries of the day to day life of the members of the Royal Family.

Watch the YouTube video:

See other videos on the Royal Channel