Queen’s Christmas Day speech ‘expected to be particularly personal’ in year of Philip’s death

The Queen’s Christmas Day message is expected to be a particularly personal one this year, as the monarch prepares to spend her first festive period since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. Picture: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. Picture: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images

A photograph released by Buckingham Palace ahead of her televised address to the nation shows the Queen sat behind a desk in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a single, framed picture of the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip taken in 2007 at Broadlands country house, Hampshire, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

The handout still shows the Queen wearing an embossed wool shift dress in Christmas red, by British designer Angela Kelly, as well as a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch which the then-Princess Elizabeth wore for a photocall on her honeymoon, also to Broadlands, in 1947, and for the couple’s Diamond Wedding celebrations.

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She is sat in front of an illuminated Christmas tree.

The image was released as it was confirmed a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh will take place next year.

Buckingham Palace said the service will be held at Westminster Abbey in London in the spring.

It is understood the date will be confirmed in due course and the guestlist is being finalised.

This year’s Christmas Day message from the Queen follows the death of the duke in April aged 99.

Coronavirus restrictions at the time meant the Queen was memorably and poignantly forced to sit alone in St George’s Chapel for his funeral service.

The Queen will be joined at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, having shelved her customary trip to Sandringham as a “precautionary” measure amid rising coronavirus cases.

Her speech marks the end of a year peppered with both joy and immense sadness.

The Queen welcomed four new great-grandchildren to the family – August to Princess Eugenie, Lucas to Zara Tindall, Lilibet to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Sienna to Princess Beatrice.

The Queen’s address to the nation will be broadcast across multiple channels at 3pm on Christmas Day.

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