The Queen pays tribute to Prince Philip in 2021 message
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The Queen gave an unprecedented personal twist to her annual Christmas address as she focussed the start of her speech on a tribute to Prince Philip. Her Majesty, who has remained mostly silent about the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh in April, noted the late prince maintained his “mischievous” conduct until the very end. She said: “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 set eyes on him.
“But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.
“And as much as my family and I miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”
She continued: “We felt his presence as we, like millions around the world, readied ourselves for Christmas.
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“While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we 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 favourite film where we already know the ending.”
Prince Philip died in April 2021 after 73 years of marriage.
The Queen met her future husband aged only 13 during a visit to Dartmouth shortly before the start of the war.
The pair secretly became engaged in 1947 but would only be announced in July after the Royal Family returned from a visit to South Africa.
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Royal staffers, as well as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, were reportedly reluctant at the start to let their eldest child and heir marry what was considered to be a penniless European royal.
Italian commentator Alberto Angela said: “Marriage was one of Elizabeth’s greatest victories and a clear affirmation of her personality.
“To be honest, her parents weren’t quite convinced of that handsome officer.
“Yes, he belonged to the Royal Family of Greece but his sisters had married German nobles who were involved with the Nazi Party. Philip was also penniless.”
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“But Elizabeth, who had always been very obedient, at least in love wanted to do her own thing and, in the end, she managed to win.”
Mr Angela continued: “Philip, however, had to give up his foreign titles and become Duke of Edinburgh, taking a British surname, that of his uncle Mountbatten.
“The dynasty remained Windsor, but the surname of the descendants, excluding the heirs to the throne, will be Mountbatten-Windsor.”
The couple married in November 1947 and welcomed their first son, Prince Charles, the following year.
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