Queen’s Christmas speech to ‘undoubtedly’ pay tribute to monarch’s ‘strength and stay’

Queen: A 'lot of pressure’ on Platinum Jubilee says expert

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Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams believes the Queen will “undoubtedly” pay tribute to her late husband Prince Philip in her much-anticipated Christmas speech this year. The expert told Express.co.uk: “This year the Queen’s Speech will, as usual, be an important part of many people’s Christmas.

“In recent years its message has reached a vast audience using social media.

“Undoubtedly, she will pay tribute to her ‘strength and stay’ Prince Philip, who gave her invaluable advice throughout her reign.

“Theirs was one of the great royal partnerships.

“He is also likely to feature in the photographs arranged beside her.”

The Queen publicly called the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April aged 99, her “strength and stay” on November 20, 1997, the day marking their golden wedding anniversary.

During a lunch at Banqueting House in London, the monarch looked back on the support Prince Philip had provided her since their nuptials.

She said: “All too often, I fear, Prince Philip has had to listen to me speaking.

“Frequently we have discussed my intended speech beforehand and, as you will imagine, his views have been expressed in a forthright manner. 

“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

Mr Fitzwilliams, however, also noted the Queen will likely weave into her Christmas broadcast a number of issues that have had a significant impact on Britons during 2021.

Among them, he listed the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “The situation linked to Covid is ever-changing. In last year’s Christmas message she movingly addressed the plight of the many who had suffered or been affected by the pandemic, movingly saying ‘you are not alone’ and this is very likely to feature in this year’s broadcast too.” 

Given the pivotal role senior royals played during COP26, Mr Fitzwilliams believes the Queen may touch upon the UN’s climate change and the environment in her broadcast.

He said: “The Queen will undoubtedly mention this and probably the G7 meeting in Cornwall as well.”

Other topics, including her strong faith and age, may also be featured, the expert added.

He said: “She is deeply religious and, as ever, will weave this message skillfully into whatever she has chosen to highlight.

“There has been much concern about her health this year, especially as she is 95 and in her message to the General Synod she said ‘none of us can slow the passage of time’.

“It will interesting to see if she reflects on this at Christmas too.”

The Queen recorded her Christmas broadcast earlier this month. 

The past few weeks have been marred by concern over the health of the Queen, who hasn’t completed an official engagement outside palace walls since October following her doctors’ advice to only carry out light duties for the time being. 

The Queen, however, has been spotted outside of her Berkshire home on a few private occasions, including during a weekend in Sandringham and ahead of the double christening of Lucas Philip Tindall and August Philip Hawke Brooksbank. 

For the second year in a row, this weekend the monarch will not celebrate Christmas at Sandringham, as she has been doing since 1988. 

Last year, she remained at Windsor Castle in the company only of her husband Prince Philip and a few loyal staffers. 

On Saturday, she will once again stay at her Berkshire home, but will be joined by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as announced on Thursday by Clarence House. 

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