Swe look « mischievous », her « familiar laughter », her « pioneering » commitment to the environment … Elizabeth II confided on Saturday that her late husband Philip « misses » her in a touching tribute paid during his traditional Christmas address, a party again darkened by the Covid-19. “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.
She appears there dressed in 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 (60 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.
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« I know he would like us to enjoy Christmas »
The 95-year-old monarch claims to have « taken great comfort » from the many tributes she has received since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in April at the age of 99. Evoking fondly Philip, to whom she was married for 73 years, she cites « her sense of duty, her intellectual curiosity and her ability to have fun in any situation ». « The mischievous, questioning glow (of his eyes) was as brilliant at the end as when I first laid eyes on him, » she continues. « 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 holiday » despite the familiar laughter that we miss ”.
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2021 will have been a difficult year for the nonagenarian sovereign, who after losing her husband has had to give up most of his commitments. Her doctors put her to rest after spending a night in hospital in October for unspecified reasons. And these first end-of-year celebrations without Philip, which she had described as « rock », are clouded by the meteoric resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom. After canceling the traditional pre-holiday lunch she gives to around 50 members of her family, she gave up going to celebrate Christmas in Sandringham, in the east of England, staying at Windsor Castle near London, now his main residence.
Not a word for Harry and Meghan
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. Charles and Camilla went to a mass in Windsor on Saturday morning before joining the Queen, whose absence has been presented by British media as a precautionary measure.
“Even though due to the Covid we cannot celebrate (Christmas) quite as we would have liked, we can still enjoy many happy traditions,” such as singing a Christmas carol or decorating a tree, suggested Elizabeth II in her address. Referring to the transmission of traditions and values, the queen cited the protection of the environment. She welcomed the fact that Philip’s “pioneering work” had been “taken up” by Charles and William, involved in the COP26 climate conference in Scotland when she herself had had to cancel her visit.
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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 her 70 years since her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952.