As a child, I never imagined that one day a man would walk on the moon.
Yet this year we marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission.
As those historic pictures were beamed back to Earth,millions of us sat transfixed to our television screens,as we watched Neil Armstrong taking a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind,- and, indeed, for womankind.
It's a reminder for us all that giant leaps often start with small steps.
This year we marked another important anniversary: D-Day.
On 6th June 1944, some 156,000 British, Canadian and American forces landed in northern France.
It was the largest ever seaborne invasion and was delayed due to bad weather.
I well remember the look of concern on my father's face.
He knew the secret D-Day plans but could of course share that burden with no one.
For the 75th anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formally been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them.
The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation,but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.
My family and I are also inspired by the men and women of our emergency services and armed forces; and at Christmas, we remember all those on duty at home and abroad, who are helping those in need and keeping us and our families safe and secure.
Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great-grandchild into our family.
Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem.
But in time, through his teaching and by his example,Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding.