Queen Elizabeth Pays Touching Tribute to Prince Philip in Christmas Day Speech

Queen Elizabeth paid a subtle but touching tribute to her late husband Prince Philip on her first Christmas without him. In the Queen's Christmas Day speech, the 95-year-old wore the sapphire chrysanthemum brooch that she wore for a photocell on her and Philip's honeymoon in 1947. She pinned the broach to her bright red dress.

The queen's 69th Christmas Day broadcast will mark the first holiday season without her husband of 73 years, who died in April at the age of 99. She has worn the brooch on other special occasions throughout their marriage, including the couple's diamond wedding anniversary in 2007, where she wore it pinned to a pale blue dress during their visit to the Broadlands, and again for their 70th wedding anniversary in 2017.

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(Photo: Victoria Jones – PA Images / Contributor / Getty)

The queen also displayed a photo of her and the late prince on her desk in the speech, which was in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, where she is celebrating the holidays. Traditionally she shares several family photos on her desk during the annual speech but this year the photo of the couple stood alone.

In her speech, she shared the pain she felt after Philip's passing. Saying she understood the difficulty of spending the holiday season "with one familiar laugh missing," she encouraged people everywhere to celebrate with friends and family, despite the grief caused by a pandemic now stretching into its second 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," the queen said in the prerecorded message. "This year, especially, I understand why." 

As for her holiday plans, despite concerns she would remain in isolation after canceling the family pre-Christmas lunch as a "precautionary" decision amid the COVID-19 omicron variant, Prince Charles and Camila will reportedly be joining her for Christmas, according to Entertainment Tonight. The outlet also reports that Prince Edward and Sophie, their children, Lady Louise and Viscount James, and Prince Andrew's family have plans to see the queen for the Christmas holiday as well.

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As for Prince William and Kate Middleton, they and George, Charlotte and Louis are scheduled to stay at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate. They have spent previous years with Kate's parents in Bucklebury Berkshire near Windsor Castle. Although a final announcement has not been made on their plans, ET reports that a source said that "details are still being worked out how the move to Windsor Castle will adjust Christmas plans."