Queen 'may have to skip Sandringham Christmas' says host
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The coronavirus pandemic meant 2021 was a difficult year for many but for the Queen, it was particularly painful. The misfortunes hitting the monarch, 95, have hardly abated, and have been likened to another difficult year the Queen experienced three decades ago.
In 1992, the Queen denounced that year her ‘annus horribilis’, or a disastrous, unfortunate period.
Over the course of 1992, a number of the Queen’s children saw their marriages crumble, including Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales’ relationship – one which was most recently played out on screen in a new adaptation by Pablo Larrain, ‘Spencer’.
During this year, Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, divorced Captain Mark Philips after a three-year separation.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, married for six years, went their separate ways in 1992, marking the third marriage breakdown among the Queen’s children in just that year.
In November, a fire ripped through Windsor Castle, destroying 115 rooms after burning for 15 hours.
It is hardly surprising that Her Majesty does not look at these events with fondness, but royal experts have now said that difficult periods, such as that in 1992 and now in 2021, can strengthen the position of the monarchy.
In a new Channel 5 documentary, the Queen’s former press secretary between 1990 and 1997 described the monarchy’s evolution, prompted by years like these.
Charles Anson spoke on ‘2021: The Queen’s Horrible Year,’ which aired on Saturday night: “The strength of our monarchy is that it is able to adapt.
“It’s changing and I think providing the values are still there, it often changes for the better.”
Stewart Purvis, the documentary’s producer, commented: “In the last year, the Queen has lost her husband [and] she’s got a grandson who is semi-detached.
“But she has symbolised so much of what we hope for from a royal family that, in a sense, I think the respect for her is stronger than ever.
“I think the future of the Royal Family is more secure as a result of the way she’s steered us through these difficult months.”
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Veteran journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil has also praised the Queen’s “unifying figure” in a year of such pain for the entire country.
He said: “She has been a figure of love for the nation.”
He added that she is also “a figure of common sense.
“That wasn’t always true in previous crises.
“This time she’s come through with flying colours.’
Battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queen bid farewell to her husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away in April, just short of his 100th birthday.
November 20, 2021, would have been their wedding anniversary, another gutwrenching reminder for Her Majesty of the sadness of 2021.
It came amid health concerns for the longest-serving monarch, who cancelled a slew of royal engagements under doctors’ orders to rest.
Her Majesty also spent a night in hospital in central London in October – her first overnight stay in eight years.
Animosity with her grandson, Prince Harry, and the Duchess of Sussex in America will not have eased the strain on the Queen, the highly publicised rift enforced by the physical distance between London and California and the conditions of the pandemic.
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