Queen to address UN on peace
LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II will visit Ground Zero for the first time and make her first address to the United Nations General Assembly in over half a century when she arrives in New York tomorrow.The 84-year-old monarch, accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, will lay a wreath at the former site of the World Trade Centre to pay tribute to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. She will also open the British Garden Of Remembrance in nearby Hanover Square to honour the 67 British citizens killed on 9/11.Royal aides say she was personally concerned about the tragedy, but had not had an opportunity to go to New York herself.In 2002, on the first anniversary of the attacks, she sought to console the grieving British community living there by sending them a personal message, expressing her sympathy and thanking New Yorkers for their support for grieving Britons.On Tuesday the queen will also make her first speech to the 192-member General Assembly in more than half a century. She was 31 years old when she last addressed the United Nations in 1957 – just four years after she was crowned queen.Her speech this time is expected to appeal for world unity and peace. A former aide said that although the speech would contain some of her thoughts, it would have been penned with government officials.“It will be a strong message coming from the British head of state. She will be delivering it on behalf of the British government,” said Dickie Arbiter, a former Press secretary to the queen.