LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II has hailed the holidays in a new dimension, delivering her Christmas message for the first time in 3D.

In the annual, prerecorded broadcast, the monarch paid tribute to the armed forces, "whose sense of duty takes them away from family and friends" over the holidays, and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of enthusiasm for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The queen said she was struck by the `'strength of fellowship and friendship" shown by well-wishers to mark her 60 years on the throne.

"It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago," she said as footage showed crowds lining the Thames River in the rain earlier this year for a boat pageant. "People of all ages took the trouble to take part in various ways and in many nations."

The queen also reflected on Britain's hosting of the Olympic games in 2012, praising the "skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes" and singling out the volunteers who devoted themselves "to keeping others safe, supported and comforted."

Elizabeth's message aired shortly after she attended a traditional church service at St. Mary Magdelene Church on her sprawling Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Wearing a turquoise coat and matching hat, the monarch rode to church in a Bentley, accompanied by granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie. Her husband, Prince Philip, walked from the house to the church with other members of the royal family.

Three familiar faces were missing from the family outing. Prince William is spending the holiday with his pregnant wife Kate and his in-laws in the southern England village of Bucklebury. Prince Harry is serving with British troops in Afghanistan.

After the church service, the royals usually gather to watch the queen's prerecorded television broadcast, a tradition that began with a radio address by King George V in 1932.

The queen has made a prerecorded Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957. She writes the speeches herself and the broadcasts mark the rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.

Her switch to 3D was not the only technological leap for prominent British figures this Christmas.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York chose to tweet their sermons for the first time, in order to bring Christmas to a new digital audience.

In his speech, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he has been inspired by meeting victims of suffering over the past decade while leading the world's 80 million-strong Anglican Communion.

Delivering his final Christmas Day sermon from Canterbury Cathedral, Williams also acknowledged how a vote against allowing women to become bishops has damaged the credibility of the church.

Still, he said, it was "startling" to see after the vote how many people "turned out to have a sort of investment in the church, a desire to see the church looking credible and a real sense of loss when – as they saw it – the church failed to sort its business out."

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Doomsday Hour In England

    People embrace by the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Wintertime In Iowa

    A local resident clears snow from his driveway after an overnight snowfall left many schools and businesses closed for the day, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Urbandale, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Summertime In Brazil

    Rio de Janeiro residents celebrate the summer's first day as the sun rises at the Copacabana beach on December 21, 2012. (ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Water Crows In New Delhi

    A water crow rests on a wooden bamboo pole along with fencing at Lodhi gardens in New Delhi on December 20, 2012. (HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Dr. Quelokura In Nicaragua

    The director of "Club of Clowns" clown school, Tito Aguirre, known as "Dr. Quelokura," delivers a present to a patient during a visit to La Mascota Children Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • Mahakumbh Festival In India

    Hindu holy men who have arrived ahead of the month-long Mahakumbh festival perform morning rituals "Sangam," the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

  • Anti-Constitution Protests In Egypt

    A protester shows his chained hands during a demonstration against a constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • Maaasai Women In Kenya

    Maasai women wait in a queue to register to vote in the general elections scheduled for March 2013 in the village of Olgumi in Kajiado County West on December 18, 2012. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kukulkan Temple In Mexico

    The sun rises behind the Kukulkan temple in Chichen Itza, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Ceremonial fires burned and conches sounded off as dawn broke over the steps of the main pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza Friday, making what many believe is the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar. Some have interpreted the prophetic moment as the end of the world. The hundreds gathered in the ancient Mayan city, however, said they believed it marked the birth of a new and better age. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)

  • Santa And The Dolphins

    A man dressed in a Santa Claus costume poses with a dolphin, at the animal exhibition park Marineland, on December 19, 2012 in Antibes, southeastern France. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)