The Queen has praised the way Christchurch has risen up in the face of the devastating earthquakes in her Christmas message.
Queen Elizabeth also mentioned the resilience shown in the face of tragedies like the Queensland floods.
"Indeed sadly it seems that it is tragedy that draws out the most and the best from the human spirit," she said.
"We've seen that it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families, it is in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed, and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another."
The Queen says the Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, ready to help each other in dire emergency. She added the importance of family came home for her and her husband this year, with the marriages of two of their grandchildren.
The Queen also said she realised this Christmas will not be easy for some. "With our armed forces deployed around the world, thousands of service families face Christmas without their loved ones at home. The bereaved and the lonely will find it especially hard, and as we all know the world is going through difficult times."