The celebrations were everything but customary, as Queen Elizabeth II experienced her first Christmas without Prince Philip.
The UK had a spike in COVID-19 cases weeks after the queen appeared to recover from her own health scare that required her to take a hiatus from her royal duties, forcing the royal family to change prior Christmas customs. According to CNN, Elizabeth postponed her yearly trip to Sandringham to attend the Christmas service, and the palace postponed their pre-Christmas meal. The queen was spending the vacation at Windsor Castle, making Philip’s absence all the more noticeable.
In April, Philip, the queen’s husband of 73 years, unfortunately passed away at the age of 99. The 95-year-old monarch issued a poignant expression of thanks at the moment in response to the world’s collective sympathies for the queen and the royal family. According to Vanity Fair, Elizabeth remarked, “While as a family we are going through a time of profound loss, it has been a comfort to us all to witness and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from individuals inside the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and throughout the world.” “We have been greatly moved, and we are constantly reminded of the remarkable influence Philip had on so many people during his life.”
So how did the queen survive this Christmas without her husband? It was reportedly difficult to get through the day.
Queen Elizabeth II joined a Christmas zoom call with her grandchildren.
Queen Elizabeth II struggled to get through her first Christmas without the Duke of Edinburgh, according to insiders at Windsor Castle. Without Prince Philip at her side, “Christmas was a bit of a hardship for the queen,” a source told Us Weekly on December 27. Not being able to spend Christmas with her entire family [didn’t help] since the royal couple had had more than 70 Christmases together. She is “not one to wallow in self-pity and keeps her chin up,” the person stated.
A Zoom conversation with the queen’s family, which included Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children, allegedly broke with custom and “brightened up her day.” The insider claimed that although the Cambridges were obviously upset not to be spending the holiday with the queen, they video-called her first thing in the morning to wish her a Merry Christmas. The children were overjoyed to share their gifts with their great-grandmother.
During her traditional Christmas address to the U.K., the queen also paid tribute to her late husband, remarking that “his sense of duty, intellectual curiosity, and propensity to wring the joy out of any circumstance were all irrepressible.” The queen said, “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 reflect and appreciate afresh the magic of the festive season through the eyes of our young children,” according to Elle.