Elizabeth II brings a personal dimension to her Christmas message

During her traditional Christmas address, a celebration again overshadowed by the Covid-19, the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, paid a touching tribute to her late husband Philip. She evoked her gaze « Mischievous », son « Familiar laughter », his engagement « Pioneer » for the environment.

“Although it is a time of great happiness and merriment for many people, Christmas can be difficult for those who have lost loved ones. This year, I particularly understand why ”, said the sovereign in this message, personal as rarely, recorded at Windsor Castle and broadcast Saturday, December 25.

She appears there wearing a red dress, seated behind a desk on which is placed a photograph of Philip and she looks at herself smiling, taken in 2007 on the occasion of their diamond wedding (sixty years of marriage). She wears a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch that she wore for her honeymoon in 1947, a piece of jewelry that also appears in the 2007 photograph.

Difficult year for the queen

The 95-year-old monarch claims to have « Derived great comfort » of the many tributes she has received since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April, at the age of 99. Evoking fondly Philip, to whom she was married for seventy-three years, she quotes « His sense of duty, his intellectual curiosity and his ability to have fun in any situation ». « Although I miss him, and my family misses, I know he would like us to enjoy Christmas », adds the queen, seated near a large sparkling tree, insisting on the  » joy «  Of the party.

The year 2021 will have been a difficult one for the sovereign, who after losing her husband had to give up most of his commitments. Her doctors put her to rest after spending a night in hospital in October for reasons that were never made clear.

Those first end-of-year celebrations without Philip, whom she had described as « roc », are overshadowed by the meteoric resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom. After canceling the traditional lunch she gives before the holidays for about 50 members of her family, she gave up going to Sandringham, in the east of England, staying at Windsor Castle near London, now his main residence. His eldest son, Charles, and his wife Camilla spend Christmas by his side but not his daughter Anne, who has been isolating herself since her husband tested positive for the coronavirus. Prince William, Charles’s eldest son, his wife Kate and their three children are spending Christmas in the east of England.

« Even though due to Covid we cannot celebrate quite as we would have liked, we can still enjoy many happy traditions », suggested Elizabeth II in her address.

Environmental protection, taken over by Charles

Evoking the transmission of traditions and values, the queen cited the protection of the environment. She welcomed that the « Pioneering work » of Philip was  » taken back «  by Charles and William, involved in the COP26 climate conference in Scotland when she herself had had to cancel her visit.

The sovereign, on the other hand, makes no mention of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who distanced themselves from the royal family in 2020 and now live in California, although she was delighted with the birth of four children in the royal family in 2021, including Lilibet, the couple’s second child.

The Queen spoke of the major events of 2022, including the Commonwealth Games next summer, and especially the celebrations of her platinum jubilee, marking the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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