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Queen Elizabeth II recently spoke out about losing her husband, Prince Philip, as part of her usual Christmas speech. Yet while she urged people to spend Christmas with family, a few members of her own family were conspicuously absent from any mention.
Referring to her late husband, Elizabeth said that she understood the pain of spending the season “with one familiar laugh missing.” The queen gave her speech next to a prominently placed framed photo of her and Philip, back in their younger days, arm-in-arm. Philip died at age 99 last April. Also prominently placed was a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch – the same one she’s wearing in the photo, and the same one she wore when first married.
“Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why,” the queen said. “But for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world.”
“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible,” she continued. “That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him. But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”
“While COVID again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions, be it the singing of carols — as long as the tune is well known — decorating the tree, giving and receiving presents or watching a favorite film where we already know the ending. It’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines,” the queen continued.
While the queen spoke of being without loved ones and family, whether due to Covid-19 or death, perhaps in some ways she wasn’t referring to just Philip. While the queen did get to meet four new great-grandchildren this year, not all has been calm and serene in the royal household. The schism between her and some of her other family members appears to have widened recently, particularly with her grandson, Prince Harry. Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, split with the family and left their royal duties back in 2020, and the chasm between Harry and the rest of the Windsor family has been widening ever since.
Also absent was her son, Prince Andrew, who has been under a growing cloud of suspicion regarding his associations with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, infamous for his sexual trafficking and escapades involving underage girls. Now, Andrew is facing a civil lawsuit by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her multiple times in London, New York, and at Epstein’s Virgin Islands retreat, which has become infamous as the “island of sin,” and “orgy island” to the locals.
This isn’t the first time that the queen has signaled her displeasure with Harry in particular. According to one book, the queen had a photo of Harry, Megan, and their son, Archie, removed from a gallery displayed in the background of her 2019 Christmas speech. This incident allegedly led to Harry leaving his royal duties and cemented the alienation and estrangement between him and the other royals.
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