Queen Elizabeth Delivers Annual Christmas Speech amid COVID-19 Crisis: 'We Need Life to Go On'
Victoria Jones - WPA Pool / Getty Queen Elizabeth's 2020 Christmas Speech
Queen Elizabeth honored one of her most staunch traditions on Friday with her annual "Queen's Speech" at Christmas. This year's address focused on the troubles of recent months amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
"Every year we announce the coming of Christmas by turning on the lights. And light creates more than just a festive mood - light brings hope," she began. "For Christians, Jesus is" the light of the world, "but we cannot celebrate His birth in the usual way today.
"People of all faiths could not gather the way they would like for their festivals like Passover, Easter, Eid and Vaisakhi. But we need life to keep going. Last month, fireworks lit the skies as Hindus around Windsor and Sikhs." Jains celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights that offered joyful moments of hope and unity - despite social distancing. "
Unlike in previous years, the 94-year-old Queen did not mention any personal details from the past year, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from royal life or the wedding of her granddaughter Princess Beatrice. Instead, in the face of extreme difficulties, she called for hope and unity.
"Remarkably, a year that necessarily kept people apart has brought us closer in many ways. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities and helping those in need," she continued.
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"This year, on the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, we celebrated International Nurses Day. As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope worldwide," she said. "To this day, our front-line services shine this lamp for us - supported by the astonishing achievements of modern science - and we owe them to them. We continue to be inspired by the friendliness of strangers and to draw consolation that - continues the darkest nights - there is hope in the new dawn. "
Getty Kate Middleton, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth on December 8th
She also relied heavily on the strength she derives from her deep faith that helped her navigate life's difficulties during the global pandemic. Those who know her say they miss the community feeling of going to church with friends and family.
"The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the meaning we can find when we come together to worship," she said.
"Of course, this time of year will be marked by grief for many: some grieve for those they care about and others miss friends and family members who are aloof for safety reasons when all they would really want for Christmas is a simple one Hug or a squeeze on the hand. If you are among them, you are not alone and let my thoughts and prayers reassure you, "she continued.
In conclusion, she said: "The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, the light of which led the shepherds and wise men to the place of Jesus' birth. Let the light of Christmas - the spirit of selflessness, love and especially hope - guide you us in the times to come. With this in mind, I wish you a Merry Christmas. "
RELATED: See Windsor Castle being decorated for Queen Elizabeth's first Christmas there in 33 years
Samir Hussein / WireImage Queen Elizabeth joins the Royal Family at Windsor Castle on December 8th
The Queen's speech was filmed in the Green Salon at Windsor Castle - the same room where the royal christening photos of her great-grandson Archie were taken and the official royal wedding photos of Harry and Meghan were taken. Medical advice was followed and the only people allowed into the room were two cameramen and one other member of the crew. Removal protocols were followed and appropriate PPE was worn.
She wore a deep purple dress from her Angela Kelly dresser and embellished the look with the Queen Mother's shell brooch, which features a shell motif of diamonds with a single round pearl. Queen Elizabeth's mother wore the brooch throughout her life, and the Queen has worn the brooch several times.
The Queen usually has a multitude of personal family photos on her desk during her speech, but this year she only had one: a photo of her husband, Prince Philip, from her private collection.
Victoria Jones - WPA Pool / Getty Queen Elizabeth
Seeing the Queen's speech on Christmas Day is a holiday tradition shared in many homes around the world that has stood the test of time over time. Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, began the tradition of Christmas addresses over the radio in 1932. She gave her first Christmas address on the radio in 1952 and on television in 1957 at the age of 26, just a few months after her death before and before her coronation.
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The Queen breaks tradition this year by calling Windsor Castle instead of Sandringham House in Norfolk for Christmas. After careful consideration, the monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, 99, decided to celebrate Christmas time at Windsor Castle, where they spent much of the year isolating themselves amid the pandemic.
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