The Queen delivered an emotional Christmas broadcast, praising members of her family for continuing the legacy of her late husband – but others didn’t even get a look in following controversial headlines
The Queen made no mention of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in her Christmas Day speech – after the couple quit their royal duties.
Prince Andrew who has been controversially linked to disgraced financier, Jeffrey Epstein, was also left out of the speech.
But Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and Kate were all celebrated for their climate activism.
This year’s broadcast was a particularly emotional one for the monarch, who wore the same brooch she was pictured wearing in a photograph following her honeymoon with Prince Philip.
A new version of the photo, which was recreated by the couple in 2017, could also be seen on her desk, paying tribute to her late husband.
After quitting royal duties last year, the Sussexes pulled the family into intense scrutiny when they made a series of huge allegations during their shocking interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Among the accusations were claims of racism – but the Queen responded by saying “recollections may vary” as she issued an unprecedented plea to the family to deal with their issues privately.
Though it is thought that Her Majesty has invited the couple to a service of thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh’s life, concerns remain over Harry’s forthcoming ‘tell-all’ memoir – due to be published next autumn after the Platinum Jubilee, the Mail reported.
But the fact that no mention was made of her middle son, Prince Andrew, did not go unnoticed either – after he faced questions over his friendship with convicted paedophile, Epstein.
Epstein’s lover, Ghislaine Maxwell is still on trial in New York, charged with sex trafficking offences, but she denies the allegations.
Meanwhile, the Duke of York is currently battling a civil lawsuit filed in the US which alleges that Epstein trafficking victim Virginia Roberts was forced to have sex with the senior royal on three occasions in 2001.
He has consistently denied the claims, as his lawyers endeavour to have the case thrown out.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, the Queen said: “I am proud beyond words that his (Philip’s) pioneering work has been taken on and magnified by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William – admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine – most recently at the COP climate change summit in Glasgow.”
Following the death of her husband of 73 years, the Queen also paid tribute to Prince Philip who died aged 99 in April, following a series of hospital admissions.
“Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones,’ the Queen said.
“This year, especially, I understand why.”
She added: “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. 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.”
Wearing the sapphire chrysanthemum brooch she wore on her honeymoon, pinned to her Christmas red Angela Kelly dress, the Queen also touched on the issue of Covid and how it had affected celebrations.
She said: “While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions.
“I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children. It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story. Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all.
“Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.
“And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.”
The head of state added: “February, just six weeks from now, will see the start of my Platinum Jubilee year, which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness… and also to look ahead with confidence.
“I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”