Queen speaks of losing Prince Philip

The 95-year-old monarch said that while Christmas was a time of happiness for many, it could be hard for those who had lost loved ones, and this year especially she understood why, having lost Philip, 99, in April after 73 years of marriage.

"His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible," she said in her traditional pre-recorded festive broadcast, paying tribute to "my beloved Philip".

The queen said she knew Philip would want his family to enjoy Christmas, and there would be joy for them despite the absence of his "familiar laugh".

She delivered her address seated at a desk on which stood a photograph of herself and Philip, standing arm-in-arm and smiling at each other. The photo was taken in 2007, when the couple were marking their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

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