The Queen has delivered a personal and poignant Christmas Day message in which she reflected on the passing earlier this year of her husband, Prince Philip, but also her hope for the future.
In her traditional Christmas Day broadcast, the Queen paid tribute to “my beloved Philip” and remembered his “irrepressible” humour, “sense of service” and “intellectual curiosity”.
“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,” she said.
The Queen also reflected on the impact of Covid but spoke of her enjoyment at watching younger generations of the Royal Family inheriting cherished Christmas traditions.
“While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions,” she said.
“Be it the singing of carols (as long as the tune is well known); decorating the tree; giving and receiving presents; or watching a favourite film where we already know the ending, it’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.
“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.”
And she said she was looking forward to the year ahead, with the Commonwealth Games and celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee year in 2022.
She said she hoped the Platinum Jubilee celebrations would be “an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness; a chance to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last seventy years – social, scientific and cultural – and also to look ahead with confidence”.
She ended by reflecting on the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus in which “there is a new dawn with endless potential”.
“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,” she said.
“His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says, ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’
“I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”