Queen at Christmas: joy even if a laugh is missing

Status: December 25th, 2021 6:30 p.m.

For Elizabeth II it is the first Christmas without her husband Philip. Due to the corona, celebrations are only carried out in the smallest of families. Nevertheless, in her Christmas address, the monarch was optimistic about the future.

This year, Queen Elizabeth II addressed the British with an exceptionally personal Christmas address. “Although it is a time of great joy and happiness for many, Christmas can be difficult for those who have lost loved ones,” said the 95-year-old in the speech broadcast on Christmas Day. “This year I understand especially well why.”

First Christmas without Prince Philip

The Queen had lost her husband Prince Philip in April after 73 years of marriage. In the months that followed she had gained great consolation from the warmth and affection of many appreciations for the life and work of “my beloved Philip,” said the Queen. Next to her on a table was a photo that showed the two of them at their diamond wedding in 2007. The queen, in a bright red dress, had put on the same brooch for her Christmas address as she had back then – she already wore it on her honeymoon in 1947.

His “sense of service, his intellectual curiosity and his ability to squeeze fun out of any situation” were irrepressible, the Queen said of her husband. The flash of this “mischievous and interested” spark was “until the end as bright as when I saw it for the first time”. This Christmas “a familiar laugh will be missing”. Nevertheless, Christmas will bring joy this year too, “because we have the opportunity to indulge in memories”.

Look at small things and rituals

Philip would have liked his family to enjoy Christmas, said the monarch. But due to the corona pandemic, the festival cannot be celebrated as usual this year either. The little things and rituals such as decorating Christmas trees, singing songs as long as the tone is hit, decorating Christmas trees and giving each other are all the more important.

The Queen, who had to struggle with health problems herself in the past few months, had cut her Christmas plans drastically in view of the drastic increase in infections with the Omicron variant in Great Britain. She spends her first Christmas without Philip at Windsor Castle, where she stayed most of the time during the pandemic. According to the palace, she celebrated Christmas Day in a small circle with her sons Charles and Edward and her cousin Prince Richard and their partners. She canceled her usual Christmas dinner visit with the family at her country estate Sandringham in east England.

Commitment recognized by Charles and William

For the coming year, however, she is optimistic: In six weeks, she wants to celebrate the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. “I hope there will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of community,” she said.

In her address, the Queen also thanked the heir to the throne, Prince Charles and his eldest son William, who had followed in Prince Philip’s footsteps with their commitment to the environment. She was “extremely proud” of this, she said, adding that the two were “admirably” supported by their wives, Camilla and Kate.

Not all royals are mentioned

On the other hand, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, who had renounced the royal family, were not mentioned. The Queen only indirectly alluded to the couple’s daughter, Lilibet, who was born in June, when she referred to the birth of several royal babies in the coming year.

Also excluded from the speech was Prince Andrew, who has largely withdrawn from the public eye because of his involvement in the abuse scandal involving the deceased US multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein. A civil case is currently pending against him in the United States, in which an Epstein victim accuses him of molesting her as a minor. Andrew denies that.

Armed man on castle grounds

The news of an armed intruder on the grounds of Windsor Castle caused a brief commotion, who was arrested by the police within a very short time. The 19-year-old gained access to the royal residence on Saturday morning, the police said. However, he was unable to enter a building on the castle grounds. Immediately after his intrusion, the necessary security measures were taken.

What kind of weapon the intruder was carrying was not stated in the notification. The members of the royal family had been informed of the incident. One does not assume a danger to the public, it said further.

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