The queen records her Christmas Day message at Windsor Castle, England. Photo: Steve Parsons/Pool via AP.

The world is wondering how Buckingham Palace might characterize this past year in the Queen of England's annual address.

The big picture: Queen Elizabeth II, 93, is facing a politically split nation — and perhaps physically, if the Scots walk. The prime minister is Boris Johnson. A rift between the queen's grandsons Harry and William has been covered all year, and her new granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle bucks tradition. Her son Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein are caught in a controversial web. And so forth.

What they're saying: So, what will Queen Elizabeth II call this year, in her Christmas Day address to Britain and the Commonwealth nations? "Bumpy."

  • From excerpts released by Buckingham Palace: "The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference."

Go deeper: U.K. Parliament approves Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that Meghan Markle is Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter-in-law (not daughter-in-law).

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