Remembering the Queen's emotional final speech to the nation

Watch the Queen's final Christmas message

The Queen delivered an emotional tribute to Prince Philip in what turned out to be her final address to the nation.

The late monarch, who died on 8 September aged 96, poignantly reflected on a year of personal grief in her Christmas message last year.

She said there was "one familiar laugh missing" following the loss of her husband and long-serving consort in April 2021.

She told viewers: "His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.

"That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.

Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Issue date: Thursday December 23, 2021.
The Queen used her final Christmas message to pay tribute to Prince Philip. (PA/Handout)

"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."

The Queen also acknowledged the impact of the COVID pandemic, which forced her to celebrate Christmas at Windsor rather than Sandringham.

Read more: The Queen by the people who knew her

She said: "While COVID again means we can't celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions."

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953. (Colorised black and white print). Artist Unknown. (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953. (Getty Images)

The monarch looked ahead to the Platinum Jubilee marking her 70-year reign, calling it "an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness".

The Christmas speech – written, as always, by The Queen alone – proved to be her final televised speech.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: General view of flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace on September 09, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and acceded the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Neil Mockford/Getty Images)
The monarch, who died on 8 September aged 96. (Neil Mockford/Getty Images)

She used her 2020 message to to praise the "indomitable spirit" of those who had risen "magnificently" to the challenges of the pandemic.

Her successor, King Charles III, is expected to carry on the royal festive tradition, which began with King George V in 1932.