This Was The Last Time The Queen Spent Christmas Apart From Prince Philip

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh lived a long life. At 99 years old, the prince sadly died earlier this year (via NBC News). A statement on his death made in April read, "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth had been married for over seven decades (via ABC News). Their 70-year marriage saw Prince Philip give 22,000 solo engagements and 5,496 speeches across more than 76 countries. The iconic couple spent decades in front of the public and became a staple in both governmental affairs and pop culture.

It's to be expected during those 70 years that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles shared together they would develop some holiday traditions. While many might be worried about the queen spending Christmas without Philip this year, it turns out the couple once spent a Christmas apart when he was still alive.

The queen was without her husband during a holiday in the 50s

According to People, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent Christmas Day apart back in 1956. During October of that year, Philip set out on the Royal Yacht, the Britannia, for a trip that would span three months. He was making his way to Australia, where he opened the Olympic games in Melbourne.

On that day, she mentioned her husband in her Christmas speech, sharing, "Of all the voices we have heard this afternoon, none has given my children and myself greater joy than that of my husband," the queen gushed. "To him I say: 'From all the members of the family gathered here today our very best good wishes go out to you and to everyone on board Britannia, as you voyage together in the far Southern seas. Happy Christmas from us all.'"

She continued, "Of course it is sad for us to be separated on this day, and of course we look forward to the moment when we shall all again be together. Yet my husband's absence at this time has made me even more aware than I was before of my own good fortune in being one of a united family."

According to Town and Country, the queen will likely have a quiet Christmas this year. She will be celebrating the holiday at Windsor instead of making the trek to Sandringham, where she typically spends the holiday, due to Covid-19 concerns.