The Queen’s 2021 Christmas speech was an emotional one, remembering the mischievous nature of Prince Philip.
She was sat next to a framed photo of her and the Duke of Edinburgh, which was taken at the same venue in 2007 to mark their diamond wedding anniversary, in the message filmed in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle.
A photograph released by Buckingham Palace ahead of her address to the nation showed The Queen sat in front of an illuminated Christmas tree decorated with more than 100 white and gold stars, which were made by the children and staff of The Royal School, Windsor.
Many also noted the chrysanthemum brooch, worn not only in the official honeymoon photos but in the recreation
Her Majesty reflected on how she understood the festive season could be hard for those missing family and friends. She began: “Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why.”
She also mentioned that she drew ‘great comfort’ from people’s best wishes after Philip’s passing.
“But for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world. His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible,” Elizabeth commented. “That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.
The message was opened by the National Anthem played by the Central Band of the Royal British Legion in celebration of their centenary year, followed by footage of The Queen and Prince Philip over the years, documenting their relationship.
“But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas,” she added.
She referenced how Prince Charles and Prince William are continuing to champion conservation and environmental efforts that the Duke of Edinburgh once did. Strikingly, Her Majesty also referred to the support of The Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge.
He was also an early champion of taking seriously our stewardship of the environment; and I am proud beyond words that his pioneering work has been taken on and magnified by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William – admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine – most recently at the COP climate change summit in Glasgow.
“Christmas can speak to the child within us all,” was a line that stuck out, before highlighting that the Royal Family welcomed four more great grandchildren this year: Lucas, August, Sienna and Lili.
Last year, Her Majesty used her Christmas broadcast to deliver a message of hope amidst the uncertainty of the first year of the pandemic.
She had praised the ‘indomitable spirit’ of those who had risen ‘magnificently’ to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Back to the 2021 message, she referenced how the life of Jesus was ‘the bedrock of my faith’.
“His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says, ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight’.
“I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
The message finished with the singing of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ by the performed by the Singology Community Choir in the St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.