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).

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in Capitol's National Statuary Hall

Photo: Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall on Friday, making Ginsburg the first woman to ever receive the honor.

The state of play: The Supreme Court also announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in repose on the front steps of the building on Wednesday and Thursday, allowing the public to pay respects to the late justice outside.

14 mins ago - World

Trump announces new Iran sanctions in effort to maintain international arms embargo

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that would impose sanctions on any person or entity that contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran or is engaged in providing training and financial support related to those weapons.

Why it matters: The executive order is the first step by the Trump administration to put teeth into its claim that international sanctions on Iran were restored over the weekend, one month after the U.S. initiated the "snapback" process under a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Exclusive: Conservative group launches $2M Supreme Court ad

Screengrab of ad, courtesy of Judicial Crisis Network.

The Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $2.2 million ad campaign to put pressure on vulnerable Senate Republicans in battleground states to support a quick confirmation when President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee.

The big picture: "Follow Precedent," previewed by Axios, is one of the first national and cable television ads to run following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's death Friday.