Kate Bush has called for an end to the war in Ukraine in her annual Christmas message.

The 64-year-old music legend reflected on the tragedies of 2022, including Russia's continued onslaught on its neighbouring country and the passing of Queen Elizabeth, whose death "became a focus for grief, for unexpressed loss" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

She wrote in a post on her website titled 'Merry Christmas': “Every year seems to fly by a little faster. They say this happens as you get older, but there’s no doubt that the speed of life is accelerating at a greater rate than ever.

“It’s a bombardment, the horrific war in Ukraine, the famines, the droughts, the floods… and we lost our Queen. Many of my friends were surprised at how upset they were at her death especially as we aren’t royalists, but I think her passing became a focus for grief, for unexpressed loss that so many people had felt during the pandemic.”

The lengthy note also saw Kate reflect on her 80s hit 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)' re-entering the charts three decades later thanks to its inclusion in Netflix series 'Stranger Things'.

She said: “It’s been a crazy, roller-coaster year for me. I still reel from the success of RUTH, being the No 1 track of this summer.

“What an honour! It was really exciting to see it doing so well globally, but especially here in the UK and Australia; and also to see it making it all the way to No 3 in the US. It was such a great feeling to see so many of the younger generation enjoying the song. It seems that quite a lot of them thought I was a new artist! I love that!”

Kate hopes there will be a resolution for the war and the nurses strike in the UK by this time next year.

She pondered: “I wonder where on earth we’ll all be at the end of next year? I hope the war will end. I hope that the nurses will be in a position where they are appreciated – they should be cherished. Let’s all hope that next year will be better than this one. I keep thinking about hope and how it was the last to fly out of Pandora’s box. Sometimes it’s all that seems to glow in the dark times we find ourselves in right now.”

She wrapped the post: “I used a little robin in some of my Christmas gifts to friends this year. I felt that this humble little bird, which symbolises Christmas could also symbolise hope in the context of Emily Dickinson’s beautiful words: Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.

“I‘d like to think that this Christmas when joy is so hard to find, hope will perch in all our souls. Merry Christmas!”