- Earlier this week, people in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth (and others around the world) sat down to watch the Queen's annual Christmas broadcast.
- As usual, the Queen's speech was exactly what the world needed, which in 2020 amid a global pandemic meant comforting, steadying, and inspiring.
- The Queen included a sweet nod to her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in her broadcast. She had a framed photo of Philip from her private collection placed visibly next to her on her desk for the speech.
Every year, the Queen delivers her annual Christmas speech. This year, however, the world really needed her wisdom. The speech was everything we hoped it would be—steadying, comforting, and, of course, inspiring.
While the words Queen Elizabeth II spoke during her broadcast were aimed at the people of the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth (and, honestly, the whole world), the Queen made sure to include a special nod to one of the people closest to her own heart—her husband of more than 70 years (which is just !!! on its own) Prince Philip.
The Queen sat at her desk in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle to record the speech. On her desk, sat a framed photo of Philip, which, according to Hello magazine, came directly from the Queen's private collection.
The Queen wore a gorgeous purple Angela Kelly dress and a brooch that belonged to the Queen Mother that was designed by Lord Courtauld-Thomson and made in 1919.
Read the queen's Christmas Broadcast for 2020 in full:
Every year we herald the coming of Christmas by turning on the lights. And light does more than create a festive mood—light brings hope.
For Christians, Jesus is ‘the light of the world’, but we can’t celebrate his birth today in quite the usual way. People of all faiths have been unable to gather as they would wish for their festivals, such as Passover, Easter, Eid, and Vaisakhi. But we need life to go on. Last month, fireworks lit up the sky around Windsor, as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, providing joyous moments of hope and unity—despite social distancing.
Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has, in many ways, brought us closer. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.
In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I am so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit. To our young people in particular I say thank you for the part you have played.
This year, we celebrated International Nurses’ Day, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope across the world.
Today, our front-line services still shine that lamp for us—supported by the amazing achievements of modern science—and we owe them a debt of gratitude. We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that—even on the darkest nights—there is hope in the new dawn.
Jesus touched on this with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The man who is robbed and left at the roadside is saved by someone who did not share his religion or culture. This wonderful story of kindness is still as relevant today. Good Samaritans have emerged across society showing care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.
The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the sense of purpose we can find in coming together to worship.
In November, we commemorated another hero—though nobody knows his name. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior isn’t a large memorial, but everyone entering Westminster Abbey has to walk around his resting place, honouring this unnamed combatant of the First World War—a symbol of selfless duty and ultimate sacrifice. The Unknown Warrior was not exceptional. That’s the point. He represents millions like him who throughout our history have put the lives of others above their own, and will be doing so today. For me, this is a source of enduring hope in difficult and unpredictable times.
Of course, for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness: some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family-members distanced for safety, when all they’d really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand. If you are among them, you are not alone and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.
The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, its light guiding the shepherds and wise men to the scene of Jesus’s birth. Let the light of Christmas—the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope—guide us in the times ahead.
It is in that spirit that I wish you a very happy Christmas."