The Queen delivers emotional Christmas message paying tribute to Philip's 'mischievous twinkle' & 'familiar laugh'

THE Queen has spoken movingly about missing the “mischievous twinkle” and “familiar laugh” of Prince Philip in her Christmas Day message.

Her Majesty delivered a poignant traditional festive address this year as she lamented Christmas without her "beloved" husband, following his death aged 99 in April.

This Christmas is the first for 73 years she won't be spending with Prince Philip.

In a deeply personal message, the monarch fondly recalled his sense of fun but also said she was “proud beyond words” of his achievements.

But despite him not being with the family to celebrate Christmas “we all felt his presence” and he would want them to enjoy themselves, she said.

As well as in her words, there were other touching tributes to the Duke Edinburgh.

Pinned to her dress was a treasured sapphire chrysanthemum brooch, worn during her honeymoon in 1947 and at their 60th wedding anniversary.

And unlike previous years, when there have been many family pictures around her, a framed photo of the Diamond Wedding couple in 2007 was the sole photo on display.

“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.

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"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.

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"That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.”

Her Majesty added: "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 went on to pay tribute to her husband’s achievements in setting up the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and raising awareness about the environment.

“We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions and values that mean so much to us, as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times,” she said.

"I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness. Prince Philip was always mindful of this sense of 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."

The Queen said her late husband was an "early champion of taking seriously our stewardship of the environment".

'I am 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.”

The Queen touched the current Covid situation, which means that while “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, it's no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.

Christmas maybe thought as a “time for children” but that’s only “half the story” and “it's truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all”, she said.

"Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.

"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, 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.”

The Queen also talked about her upcoming Platinum Jubilee.

She said she hoped it "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 70 years – social, scientific and cultural – and also to look ahead with confidence".

Her Majesty ended her speech by referring to her own Christian faith and the enduring message of Christmas.

"It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing, 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."

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