Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday paid tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, in her annual message to the nation and the Commonwealth, broadcast on Christmas Day, describing him as her "beloved" whose presence she felt during the festive period.
The 95-year-old monarch delivered a particularly personal message for the first Christmas without her husband of 73 years, who died aged 99 in April. She described Prince Philip as her "beloved", and said she felt his presence over the festive period.
That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him, said the Queen of the late Duke of Edinburgh. "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 and we like many around the world readied ourselves for Christmas," she said.
The message was recorded earlier at Windsor Castle beside a framed photograph of the royal couple taken during their diamond wedding anniversary in 2007 when the Queen wore the same sapphire chrysanthemum brooch as in the broadcast. After another year of uncertainty with the pandemic, Queen Elizabeth spoke of the reassuring comfort of family traditions, such as "watching a favourite film where we already know the ending".
She also praised the work of her heirs Prince Charles and Prince William at the COP26 climate change summit and their commitment to the "stewardship of the environment". The monarch also looked ahead to the Platinum Jubilee next year, marking 70 years of her reign, which she hoped would bring a "sense of togetherness" and a chance to take stock of the "enormous changes" over those decades.