The Queen’s Speech 2021: Watch in full
The Queen spoke about the “one familiar laugh missing” this Christmas in her speech delivered eight months after the death of Prince Philip. Her Majesty empathised with families missing loved ones as she spoke about her own grief.
She said: “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.
“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.”
The Queen went on remembering the Duke of Edinburgh, speaking movingly and openly about him for the first time since his death in April.
She said: “His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible.
The Queen delivering her Christmas speech
The Queen and Prince Philip marking their Diamond wedding anniversary
“That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.
“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.
“We felt his presence as we, like millions around the world, readied ourselves for Christmas.”
The 95-year-old monarch also touched on the disruption coronavirus and the emergence of the Omicron variant have created to many ahead of the Christmas period.
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The Queen and Prince Philip during their honeymoon
However, she suggested comfort can be found in the routine each family has when it comes to their traditional Christmas day.
The Queen then spoke about “passing the baton” to younger generations, saying: “We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions and values that mean so much to us, as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times.
“I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness.
“Prince Philip was always mindful of this sense of passing the baton.
“That’s why he created The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which offers young people throughout the Commonwealth and beyond the chance of exploration and adventure.
The Queen and Prince Philip announcing their engagement
The Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor in 1982
“It remains an astonishing success, grounded in his faith in the future.”
Echoing the video message she delivered last month in lieu of her absence at COP26, the climate change summit, the monarch then mentioned Prince Philip’s interest in conservation.
She said: “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.”
In the final part of her speech, Her Majesty spoke hopefully about the future – starting with her Platinum Jubile, to kick off in February.
She said: “Next summer, we look forward to the Commonwealth Games.
Prince Philip would have turned 100 in June
“The baton is currently travelling the length and breadth of the Commonwealth, heading towards Birmingham, a beacon of hope on its journey.
“It will be a chance to celebrate the achievements of athletes and the coming-together of like-minded nations.
“And February, just six weeks from now, will see the start of my Platinum Jubilee year, which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness, a chance to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years – social, scientific and cultural – and also to look ahead with confidence.”
The Queen concluded her speech mentioning once again Prince Philip and his “familiar laugh”.
She said: “I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children.
“It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story.
The Royal Family gathered at Buckingham Palace in 1972
“Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all.
“Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.
“And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.
“They teach us all a lesson – just as the Christmas story does – that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential.
Queen to spend Christmas with Charles and Camilla at Windsor
“It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing, simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus – a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith.
“His birth marked a new beginning.”
Prince Philip wasn’t remembered by the Queen only with her words but also with the choice of jewellery.
The Queen pinned on the right-hand side of her dress the same chrysanthemum brooch she also wore for pictures taken during her honeymoon and Diamond wedding anniversary pictures with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Moreover, the Queen placed on her desk the framed photograph of her and Philip on the day of their 60th wedding anniversary.