Her Majesty, 95, gave a personal address to the nation, referencing the death of Prince Philip in April and her grief over her loss. In what has been regarded as “one of HM’s most extraordinary” speeches, the monarch detailed how hard Christmas can be after the death of a loved one.
The opening of the broadcast featured an earlier speech from Her Majesty, where she regarded Philip as her “strength and stay”.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, with a picture of the Duke of Edinburgh on her desk, the Queen said the festive season “can be hard for those who have lost loved ones”.
In a heartbreaking reference to her late husband, she said: “This year, especially, I understand why.”
The monarch then added: “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.
“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.”
Colin Brazier, GB News presenter, led the charge of Britons hailing the monarch’s vulnerable and personal address.
He said on Twitter: “Surely, one of HM’s most extraordinary Christmas Day speeches?
“Deeply personal, unfiltered language, rooted in her Christianity.
“But also, for the rest of us; a reminder of her growing frailty.”
Salma Shah, Independent Voices columnist, added: “Head of state, and the church and the military she is also the nation’s therapist.
“Her wisdom is reassuring and comforting in dark times.”
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More social media users praised Her Majesty for her Christmas speech, saying mentions of grief were “poignant and personal”.
Twitter user @TCamero35614831 said: “Have to say they broke the mould when they made HM The Queen.
“Dignity, service and selflessness. She makes me so proud to be British.”
Antony Little added: “Her Majesty’s speech was very poignant and personal.
“Very emotional Queen’s Speech and we are very very lucky to have her.”
Twitter user @GallIain added: “Incredibly poignant and powerful Queen’s Speech.
“69 years on the throne and never has the Queen been so relevant, respected and loved providing stability and continuity no matter what turmoil we face as a nation. Long may she reign.”
Andrew Simmons, from Al Jazeera, noted it was rare to see the Queen “striking quite a personal tone”, but this was “quite a tragic year for her”.
He said: “She described him as my beloved Philip … saying he could squeeze fun out of any situation.”
Her Majesty is reportedly spending Christmas Day with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Due to rising Covid cases, Her Majesty cancelled her traditional trip to Sandringham, and instead opted to remain in Windsor.
The Queen also missed out on a Christmas morning service at Windsor Castle, while royals including Charles and Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrived at St George’s Chapel.
The royals met the Dean of Windsor outside the chapel ahead of the Christmas Matins service.