Queen Elizabeth speaks of missing her husband’s ‘familiar laugh’ at Christmas

Close family members were due to visit her, including her eldest son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. She was not expected to make a public appearance.

Usually, all the Windsors gather for Christmas at another one of her homes, the Sandringham estate in eastern England. Their walk to a nearby church for a Christmas service is a staple of the royal calendar.

With Britain’s daily COVID infection numbers hitting records, the Queen last week cancelled a pre-Christmas lunch with her family, also as a precaution.

In her message, she also spoke of her upcoming Platinum Jubilee year, which starts in February and will mark her 70 years on the throne. She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, having in 2015 overtaken her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

She said she hoped the jubilee would be a chance for people “to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years, social, scientific and cultural, and also to look ahead with confidence”.

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