Why the Queen's Christmas speech in 2021 could her most heartbreaking yet

The Queen's Christmas speech this year is expected to be more emotional than usual

Why the Queen's Christmas speech 2021 could her most heartbreaking yet
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's Christmas speech this year will likely be her most emotional speech yet, as the 95-year-monarch celebrates her first festive holiday without Prince Philip. 

The Queen's Christmas speech is likely to be wrought by emotion this December, as Her Majesty is expected to pay tribute to her late husband in the annual televised message. 

2021 has undeniably been a trying year for the Royal Family's matriarch, with Prince Philip's death aged 99 in April bringing an emotional end to their seven-decade-long marriage. The monarch has also been forced to cancel multiple engagements due to ongoing health issues since October, including a two-day-long tour in Northern Ireland and a visit to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. 

Concerns for the 95-year-old's wellbeing soared after it emerged that the Queen had spent a night in the hospital for 'preliminary investigations'—marking her first hospital admission in eight years. She has since been advised by doctors to rest at Windsor Castle, where she is is continuing to undertake light duties such as virtual audiences and Red Box filing. It's also likely she's busy preparing her Christmas speech, which is normally recorded in mid-December. 

Queen's Christmas speech 2012

Queen delivers her Christmas speech from Buckingham Palace in 2012

(Image credit: Getty)

Formally known as Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech, the Royal Family's annual festive message was first made by King George V via radio in 1932. 

It has been delivered on television by the Queen since 1957 and typically chronicles the year's most prominent events, with an emphasis on issues affecting Britain and other Commonwealth countries. While 2020's broadcast focused heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's speech is likely to take on a much more personal touch. It's expected that the Queen will seize the opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Prince Philip, to whom she was married for an incredible 73 years. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during "The Patron's Lunch" celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall

The Queen and Prince Philip were married for 73 years 

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

"Her Majesty the Queen will focus on the loss earlier this year of the Duke of Edinburgh," said NBC royal correspondent Neil Sean. "Naturally it affected the nation but it could not have affected anyone more than the Queen."

"We've seen in recent months she does appear to have lost some weight and of course is using a small stick for comfort," he went on. 

"The broadcast is going to focus on the good work that he did and of course how he became the grandfather to the nation.

"For Her Majesty the Queen that will become a very tough broadcast given that time of year it almost makes it even harder to remember loved ones you hope to be with." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.