In a particularly somber Christmas message Saturday, Britain’s Queen ElizabethWe mourned her husband Prince Philip’s death earlier in the year. He was 99 years old.

“Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why,” she said in a heartfelt televised message in front of a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle and next to a photo of her with her husband of 73 years.

“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation, were all irrepressible,” the queen said. “That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.”

Her annual holiday speech started with old photographs of her and the couple.

“Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings,” the Queen sadly noted in the televised address.

But “as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas,” Elizabeth added, noting that she and her family had felt her late husband’s presence as they prepared to mark their first holiday season without him.

She noted that, despite all the losses, there is joy. The Queen praised the coming of four new great grandchildren this yearWho are you? Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s daughter, 6-month-old Lilibet Diana, named for the Queen’s sobriquet and baby Lilibet’s paternal grandmother, the late Princess Diana.

“For me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have a chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonders of the festive season through the eyes of our young children,” the Queen said.

She expressed hope for brighter days ahead, noting that children “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.”

You can see the whole message by clicking the video link up.


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