Queen Elizabeth II has paid tribute to her husband in her first annual Christmas message since his death.
“Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year especially I understand why,” she said in a personal message.
She described Prince Philip as her “beloved” and said she felt his presence over the festive period.
The Queen’s comments about loss come against the background of another year of the pandemic.
Speaking beside a photograph of them together, the Queen paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh, her “irrepressible” husband of 73 years.
“That mischievous, inquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him,” she said.
“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,” said the Queen, remembering his “capacity to squeeze the fun out of any situation”.
The framed photograph in view during the broadcast was taken during their diamond wedding anniversary in 2007 – and the Queen was wearing the same sapphire brooch that appears in the photograph.
She also wore the same brooch, in the form of chrysanthemum, on her honeymoon in 1947.
This week Buckingham Palace announced plans for a service of thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, to be held at Westminster Abbey in the spring.