In her annual Christmas message to the British Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II mourned the death of her late husband but said that the story of Christ’s birth should bring hope to all for a “new dawn with endless potential.”
The Christmas address from the 95-year-old monarch was the first since the death of her consort, Prince Philip, who passed away at the age of 99 in April of this year.
“Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why,” the Queen said.
“But 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. We felt his presence as we, like millions around the world, readied ourselves for Christmas.”
She said that Prince Philip was “always mindful of this sense of passing the baton,” saying that it was the motivation for him to create The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children throughout the Commonwealth.
“And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce…”
In her 2021 broadcast, The Queen reflects on the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, while looking ahead to her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. pic.twitter.com/IMf3aW4IxI
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 25, 2021
The British monarch also highlighted Philip’s commitment to the environment, and praised her son Prince Charles and her grandson Prince William for taking up that mantle at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow earlier this year.
The Queen went on to look forward to next year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which will mark the seventy years that she has reigned in Britain.
She said that she hopes the celebrations “will 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.”
The devout Protestant highlighted the spirit of renewal of the story of Christmas, saying that adults who can get “weighed down with worries” should look to the children to remember to see the “joy in the simple things”.
“For me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.
“They teach us all a lesson – just as the Christmas story does – that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential.”
Queen Elizabeth II said that the birth of Christ is “universally appealing,” noting the “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. 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,” the Queen concluded.
Since 1952, the broadcasts have reflected on the life of the nation and of The Monarchy.
In 1983 The Queen spoke of new technology. In 1966 she discussed the role of women in society. And on Jubilee years The Queen used the broadcast to thank the public for their celebrations. pic.twitter.com/AXUEDtBb10
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 24, 2021
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