Queen Elizabeth delivered a particularly personal message on Saturday to her annual Christmas Day address, the first since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.
The appeal led to footage from Elizabeth and Philip over the decades and an excerpt from a voice from the Queen during their golden wedding anniversary in 1997. In it, she called her husband, who died in April at the age of 99, his “strength and stay.”
“While this is a time of great happiness and good mood for many, Christmas can be difficult for those who have lost loved ones. This year, I especially understand why,” the queen said in a pre-recorded Christmas address from the White Drawing. Room in Windsor Castle.
“But in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I am comforted by the great warmth and love of his life and work from all over the country, the Commonwealth, and the world.
In the foreground was a photograph of a couple holding hands. Both in the photo and at her Christmas address, she was with the same sapphire chrysanthemum brooch.
The queen remembered Philip for “his sense of service, his intellectual curiosity, and his ability to squeeze the fun out of any situation.”
She said his legacy includes the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which aims to promote the personal growth of young people, and his work on the environment.
Christmas is coming through the COVID wave
The message of Christmas Day on television is a tradition in Britain – a moment when the monarch reflects on the meaning of the holiday and the challenges facing the country.
Last year, the Queen took the opportunity to convey a message of hope during the coronavirus pandemic and to praise the “unbreakable spirit” of scientists, ambulance workers and others who have faced the challenges of COVID-19.
This year, the Queen once again drew attention to the ongoing pandemic that has led England to endure a number of quarantines. Restrictions on coronavirus were in place at that time Philip’s funeral meant that Elizabeth was sitting alone in the ceremony of St. In St. George’s Chapel.
The number of cases rose again before Christmas, with the UK reporting a new daily record of 122,186 on Friday. It was the third day that the number of cases exceeded 100,000.
“While COVID means again that we can’t celebrate the way we wanted, we can still enjoy the many fun traditions of the celebration,” the queen said, singing songs, decorating a Christmas tree, exchanging gifts or watching a favorite. movies.
She said it was “no surprise that families so often cherish their Christmas routine.”
“We see that our own children and their families embrace roles, traditions and values that are very important to us as they are passed down from generation to generation, sometimes renewed in response to changing times.
Elizabeth, 95, is the oldest and longest reigning monarch in the world. This year, her health came to the forefront after she was advised to rest and stay in hospital for a short time after she missed several high-level meetings, including the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
In her Christmas speech, the Queen looked at next year’s Commonwealth Games and her platinum anniversary. The latter marks Elizabeth’s seven decades on the throne.
She hopes it will be “an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of community, an opportunity to thank them for the great changes of the last 70 years – social, scientific and cultural, as well as to look forward with confidence”.