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UK News

‘Mischievous twinkle as bright at the end as when I set eyes on him’: Queen’s Christmas message tribute to Philip

today25/12/2021

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The Queen has used her Christmas message to pay a deeply moving tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, describing how his “mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him”.

In an emotional and heartfelt address, the 95-year-old explained how her and the rest of the family have “readied” themselves for their first Christmas without Prince Philip where his “familiar laugh” would be sadly missed.

Praising his work, the Queen also talked of how proud she is of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge for picking up the baton – especially when it comes to the climate crisis.

The Christmas message featured footage of all the most well-known working royals, but there was no reference to her middle son, Prince Andrew, or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the trio having stepped back from royal duties.

Read the Queen’s Christmas message in full

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Picture date: Saturday December 25, 2021.
Image: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wave as they arrive at church in Windsor on Christmas Day

There was, however a mention of Lilibet, the Sussexes’ daughter, as one of four great-grandchildren born in 2021.

Recalling in the most personal terms what she loved about her late husband most, she said: “His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.

More on Prince Philip

“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.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are met by the Dean of Windsor (centre) as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Picture date: Saturday December 25, 2021.
Image: The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are greeted by the Dean of Windsor

“We felt his presence and we like many around the world readied ourselves for Christmas”.

Thanking the many well-wishers who sent their condolences following his death in April, she said she appreciated how difficult Christmas can be for many.

“Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones,” she said.

“This year especially I understand why.

The Earl of Wessex (left) and the Countess of Wessex arrive at St George's Chapel
Image: The Earl (left) and Countess of Wessex arrive at St George’s Chapel

“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.”

The message started with a clip of one of the most famous speeches the Queen made about her husband on their Golden Wedding anniversary where she described him as her “strength and stay”.

The festive address was filmed last week in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

On the desk next to her is a single photograph of her and Prince Philip taken in 2007 at Broadlands, once the home of Philip’s uncle Lord Mountbatten, and where they spent part of their honeymoon.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands in Romsey, southern England in this undated photograph taken in 2007. The Queen and Prince Philip will mark their diamond wedding anniversary with a special service of thanksgiving on November 19, 2007. REUTERS/Fiona Hanson/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ROYALS)
Image: This picture of the Queen and her husband at Broadlands, Hampshire in 2007 sat on the Queen’s desk for her speech
EMBARGOED TO 2230 GMT Thursday December 23, 2021. File photo dated 23/11/1947 of Princess Elizabeth enjoying a stroll with her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, at Broadlands, Hampshire, during their first public appearance since their wedding. In her Christmas broadcast, The Queen is seen wearing the same chrysanthemum brooch, which she also wore in photographs taken at the same venue to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2007. Issue date: Thursday December 23, 2021.
Image: It recreated a similar picture taken at the same place on their honeymoon

The photo was taken to mark their Diamond wedding anniversary and recreated a picture taken on their honeymoon in 1947.

The Queen, dressed in bright red, is also wearing the same sapphire chrysanthemum brooch that she wore in both photographs.

While it was much more personal than previous years, her address also reflected on the constraints that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many, and how people can at least draw comfort from coming together with family this year.

She said: “While COVID again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions, 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.

EMBARGOED TO 1600 GMT Friday December 24, 2021. The Queen's 2021 Christmas broadcast. No further use without clearance from ITN. Handout picture of children at The Royal School, Windsor, who made 100 white and gold stars to decorate the Christmas tree that features in The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, hanging them on their school tree after the recording until the end of term when they took them home as presents for their parents and carers. Issue date: Friday December 24, 2021.
Image: Children at The Royal School, Windsor feature

“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 means 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.”

This week it was announced that the Queen has agreed to a thanksgiving service for Prince Philip in spring next year that will be attended by charities he set up and supported.

EMBARGOED TO 1600 GMT Friday December 24, 2021. For use only in connection with contemporaneous coverage of The Queen's 2021 Christmas broadcast. No further use without clearance from ITN. Handout picture of The Singology Community Choir recording a segment for The Queen's Christmas Broadcast inside St George's Hall in Windsor Castle.
Image: The message was filmed last week at Windsor

On his legacy, she said: “Prince Phillip was always mindful of this sense of the passing the baton, that’s why he created the Duke of Edinburgh’s award which offers young people throughout the commonwealth and beyond the chance of exploration and adventure.

“It remains an astonishing success grounded in his faith in the future. He was also an early champion of taking seriously our stewardship of the environment and I’m proud beyond words that his pioneering work has been taken on and magnified by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William.

“Admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine most recently at the COP climate change summit in Glasgow”.

She also used the opportunity to talk about another enormous milestone that she will celebrate next year, her Platinum Jubilee.

EMBARGOED TO 1600 GMT Friday December 24, 2021. For use only in connection with contemporaneous coverage of The Queen's 2021 Christmas broadcast. No further use without clearance from ITN. Handout picture of The Central Band of the Royal British Legion recording a segment for The Queen's Christmas Broadcast in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Issue date: Friday December 24, 2021.
Image: The Central Band of the Royal British Legion also feature

“February just six weeks from now will see the start of my personal Jubilee year which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense togetherness, a chance to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years, social, scientific and cultural and also to look ahead with confidence,” she said.

The Queen, after deciding to spend Christmas at Windsor instead of Sandringham, was joined by a small number of family members.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two children, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester all attended a service at St George’s chapel.

The Queen didn’t attend herself, instead taking the personal decision to mark the day privately with prayers.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today25/12/2021