Why Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Speech Left Viewers Misty-Eyed

Queen Elizabeth II has endured a very stressful year and will likely be glad to see 2021 come to an end. According to Cheat Sheet, the British monarch suffered from some health issues that had her sidelined from her royal duties as she continued to deal with the fallout of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from the firm. Meanwhile, the Queen's son, Prince Andrew, was also plagued by sexual abuse allegations after a lawsuit was filed against him in August 2021.

However, the most heartbreaking part of the year for the Queen was the death of her husband of 74 years, Prince Philip, who died in April at the age of 99.

"As you can imagine, this year has brought unbelievable trauma and, of course, discomfort for Her Majesty," royal commentator Neil Sean said of the monarch's tough year. Of course, this marked the royal family's first Christmas without Prince Philip, and the Queen didn't hesitate to open up about her feelings during her annual Christmas speech.

Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to Prince Philip in her holiday speech

During her annual Christmas Day message, Queen Elizabeth II got personal by sharing her own grief over the loss of her husband Prince Philip (via People). The monarch admitted that it's been tough for her and that she felt for others who were also dealing with the loss of loved ones this holiday season. "Although it's a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why," she said.

"But for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world," she continued. "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."

Meanwhile, the Queen also touched opon the importance of family during the holidays, despite the ongoing rift between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II stressed the importance of family

According to People, the Queen shared her joy over watching her growing family continue to carry on important traditions and enjoy the wonderment of the holiday season. "We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions and values that mean so much to us, as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times. I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness," she said.

"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," she continued, referencing the birth of four new royal family babies in 2021, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter, Lilibet. "They teach us all a lesson — just as the Christmas story does — that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential," she added.

Reflecting on the monarch's 2021 Christmas message, it seems that the Queen was determined to count her blessings this holiday season, instead of dwelling on the difficult year she's had.