The Queen has given her most personal Christmas speech ever, paying tribute to her beloved late husband Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth II admitted that she misses her husband of 73 years, while acknowledging that the holiday season “can be tough for those who have lost loved ones.”
“His spirit of service, intellectual curiosity and ability to have fun from any situation were all unmatched,” the 95-year-old Monarch said in his annual speech. “That mischievous, curious shimmer was finally as bright as when I first glanced at it.”
The Queen, who wore a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch to honor Prince Philip when giving his speech, confessed to missing him, but felt “his presence” as she prepared for the holiday season.
She took the opportunity to recognize The Duke of Edinburgh Award, a youth awards program established by her husband in 1956 that recognizes adolescents and adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises.
He also noted Prince Philip’s early interest in patronage and noted that “the pioneering work by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William has been and has been enhanced – admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine – recently. At the COP Climate Change Summit in Glasgow.”
Prince Philip died in April at the age of 99.
Although she failed to mention Prince Harry or Meghan Markle in her speech, she acknowledged the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana, who is named after her great-grandmother and grandmother.
“And for me and my family, even with the disappearance of a familiar laugh this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have a chance to remember and cherish the festive season through the eyes of our young children. There is a chance to look afresh. We are delighted to welcome four more this year,” she said.
With the arrival of Lillibet, Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi welcomed daughter Sienna Elizabeth, Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank welcomed son August Philip Hawke, and Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa, welcomed their second child, daughter Grace. Elizabeth gave birth to Jane.
“They teach us all a lesson – as the Christmas story does – that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with infinite potential,” she said.
The Queen also admitted that the ongoing pandemic means once again “we can’t celebrate as much as we wanted to”. [but] We can still enjoy many of the traditions.”
She continued, “Whether it’s singing a carol – as long as the tune is well known – adorning the tree, giving and receiving gifts, or watching a favorite movie where we already know the ending,” she added, “It’s no surprise that families often cherish their Christmas routines.”