The Queen is due to talk about family, friends and community spirit in her annual Christmas message.

This year's speech was recorded in Buckingham Palace, with the monarch wearing a red dress and photographs of her family in the background.

The carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem" performed by the students of St Joseph's Catholic Infants' School from south London and the Band of the Irish Guards will also feature in the broadcast.

The royal family will celebrate Christmas at Sandringham, Norfolk, the Queen's country retreat.

It is believed that the Queen has invited more than 25 close associates for the celebrations in the estate.

But the Duke of Edinburgh is not likely to be present during the celebrations as he underwent an emergency heart surgery on Friday night. Prince Philip will most probably remain in the Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, during the celebrations.

This year two new people joined the royal family and are expected to be at the celebrations. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge who married Prince William, and rugby player Mike Tindall, who married the Queen's eldest granddaughter Zara Philips early this year, are the latest additions to the royal family.

Kate Middleton has already arrived at Sandringham.

A Traditional Fare

The Queen, who is said to be particular about tradition, always insists that her guests arrive from the morning of December 23 onwards.

On Christmas eve, the royals will follow the German tradition of opening their presents before changing into black tie and evening gowns for a candlelight banquet.

On the Christmas morning, the family will attend the service at St Mary Magdalene, the church inside the estate. A family get-together with a traditional turkey lunch will follow.

The evening will be spent on playing games and watching television, like any other typical British family. The Boxing Day will see the traditional fox hunt.

Here are some of the memorable moments from the royals' Christmas celebrations at Sandringham in the previous years:

The Queen leaves the morning church service on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.Press Association
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles assist the Queen Mother, at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk in 2000. Up to 20 members of Royal Family gathered at the tiny church for Christmas.Reuters
Prince William speaks to his brother Prince Harry and Peter Phillips following the Christmas morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in December 25, 2000.Reuters
Zara Phillips, at 2000 Christmas celebrations.Reuters
Prince William collects flowers from well-wishers following the Christmas morning church service in Norfolk December 25, 2000.Reuters