The Queen set for 'personal' Christmas Day message this year

EMBARGOED TO 2230 GMT Thursday December 23, 2021. Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas br

The Queen is set to give a personal Christmas Day message this year as the monarch prepares to spend her first Christmas without the Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: PA

The Queen's traditional Christmas Day message is set to be particularly personal this year as she prepares to spend her first festive period without the Duke of Edinburgh.

A photograph released by Buckingham Palace ahead of her televised address to the nation shows the Queen sitting behind a desk at Windsor Castle, with a single, framed picture of herself and late husband Prince Philip at Broadlands Country House, Hampshire, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2007.

The picture shows the Queen wearing an embossed wool shift dress in Christmas red, by British designer Angela Kelly, as well as a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch.

The Queen and Prince Phillip had been married for over 73 years before his death on April 9, aged 99.

This year, the Queen decided against her customary trip to Sandringham as a “precautionary” measure amidst rising coronavirus cases and will instead be joined at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The head of state normally hosts her family on the west Norfolk royal estate over the holidays, and they are watched by crowds as they attend church on December 25.

According to a Kensington Palace spokesman, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will spend Christmas in Norfolk and are expected to be joined by some members of the Middleton family.

Sandringham hosted the first ever Christmas Day message in 1932 when King George V celebrated celebrated the power of wireless to wish British people a happy Christmas. 

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The Queen used her 2020 Christmas broadcast to deliver a heartfelt message of hope to the country, praising the “indomitable spirit” of those who had risen “magnificently” to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The monarch's address to the nation will be broadcast across multiple channels at 3pm on Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh will take place next year.

Buckingham Palace said the service will be held at Westminster Abbey in London in the spring.

It is understood the date will be confirmed in due course and the guestlist is being finalised.

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