The Queen’s entire Christmas speech has been leaked online hours before millions sit down to watch it on TV.
A five-minute, 11-second clip was posted on YouTube and shared on a number of websites and social media accounts.
It emerged as the Royal Family prepared for its annual Christmas Day service at the 92-year-old Queen’s Sandringham country estate in Norfolk.
Buckingham Palace has kept the speech a secret, releasing a photo of the Queen sat in her lavish White Drawing Room and a few excerpts of what she said in the recording.
It will be shown on TV at 3pm.
According to Buckingham Palace, the Queen will say in her Christmas message that the festival’s message of peace and goodwill needs to be heeded as much as ever, and people should respect each other even when they harbour the most deeply held differences.
She will also speak of family and friendship following a year in which her grandson Prince Harry married US-born actress Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Speaking about the birth of Jesus, she will say: “I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it’s needed as much as ever.
“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good step towards greater understanding.”
She will also say: “Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the leak.
Mirror Online has chosen not to reveal details that were not officially released through the Palace.
The Queen issued a writ against The Sun after it published the full text of her 1992 broadcast two days before transmission.
She later accepted an apology and a £200,000 donation to charity.
Her Christmas broadcast is a traditional feature of the festive season where the head of state can express her thoughts about the past year.
The monarch made her first Christmas broadcast live on the radio in 1952 – the year of her accession – and the annual message was first shown on TV in 1957.
She has made a Christmas Day speech every year except in 1969, when she decided the royals had been on TV enough after an unprecedented family documentary.
Instead, her greeting took the form of a written address.
The first televised broadcast was transmitted live from the Long Library at Sandringham, and the Queen told how she hoped “this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and more direct”.
The Queen’s first pre-recorded speech was in 1959.
The monarch usually completes her delivery in one take.
The Queen’s grandfather, King George V, delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio from Sandringham in 1932.
He read a message composed by author Rudyard Kipling.
The original idea was suggested by Sir John Reith, the founding father of the BBC, to inaugurate the Empire Service, now the BBC World Service.
The speech is written by the Queen herself and is one of the rare occasions when she does not turn to the Government for advice and is able to voice her own views.
Each message has a strong religious framework and reflects current issues.
She chooses a theme, drawing sometimes on her own personal experiences and sometimes from global events such as wars, terrorist attacks or natural disasters.