The Queen has delivered her most emotional Christmas message ever, paying tribute to her ‘beloved’ late husband Prince Philip and revealing how the Duke of Edinburgh’s ‘mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him’.
The monarch described that there was ‘one familiar laugh missing’ during the festive season this year as she made her most fulsome public tribute to her husband of 73 years and the nation’s longest-serving consort since his death in April aged 99.
Wearing the sapphire brooch she donned on her honeymoon in 1947 and again for her diamond wedding anniversary, the 95-year-old head of state also reached out to families who have lost loved one this year and addressed the Covid crisis.
An intensely private woman, the Queen has touched upon her devastating loss on a handful of occasions since Philip’s death. She has also given permission for Buckingham Palace to release a small number of treasured images of the prince. But today’s message – broadcast at 3pm on both BBC1 and ITV – was by far her most intimate yet.
The monarch sat behind a desk adorned with a solitary photograph of the Queen and the duke in 2007 to mark their 60th wedding anniversary as she spoke to the nation from the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle.
She also spoke fondly of her eldest son Charles and his wife Camilla, and also of William and Kate, for their climate activism. Just a tacit mention was made to Lilibet Diana, Harry and Meghan’s daughter, as one of four great-grandchildren born this year.
But there was no reference – either on screen or by name during the nine-minute broadcast – to Andrew, Harry or Meghan, the trio having stepped back from royal duties as the House of Windsor faces its most severe crisis since arguably the 1990s.
‘Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones,’ the Queen said. ‘This year, especially, I understand why.’
The monarch, with a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch pinned to her Christmas red Angela Kelly dress, said of Philip: ‘His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jack Wright