A Retrospective on Noteworthy Christmases in the Monarchy’s History

A Retrospective on Noteworthy Christmases in the Monarchy’s History

1956 – Philip’s Solo Christmas

The Christmas of 1956 unfolded as a poignant chapter for the late Queen, marked by Prince Philip’s extended southern hemisphere tour, leaving behind missed anniversaries and escalating rumors of royal discord.

1957 – A Traumatic Broadcast

In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II ventured into new territory by broadcasting her Christmas speech live for the first time. Technical challenges, including icy blasts and makeup adjustments, made the broadcast memorable for unforeseen reasons.

1959 – Margaret Puts the Cat Among the Pigeons

The Queen’s last Christmas of the Fifties was filled with family drama, including Princess Margaret’s desire to marry Antony Armstrong Jones and the controversial decision to name their descendants Mountbatten Windsor.

1969 – The Queen is a No Show at Christmas

Breaking tradition in 1969, Queen Elizabeth II opted for a written Christmas message, citing a need for innovation. The subsequent return in 1970 marked a shift toward a less formal and more visual approach.

1992 – The ‘Annus Horribilis’ Christmas

1992 earned the title of the Queen’s ‘annus horribilis,’ encompassing royal divorces and the Windsor Castle fire. The leaked pre-recorded Christmas speech led to legal action and a settlement with The Sun newspaper.

1997 – Christmas Without Diana

The first Christmas without Princess Diana in 1997 was undoubtedly poignant for princes William and Harry. Their attendance at church, accompanied by heartfelt prayers, reflected the nation’s collective sorrow over Diana’s untimely death.

2007 – Harry’s Christmas Fighting the Enemy

Prince Harry’s Christmas in 2007 was unconventional, spent fighting in Afghanistan. Enduring harsh conditions, he embraced the choice to be with the Gurkhas, highlighting the sacrifices made by soldiers during the holiday season.

2011 – Prince Philip’s Heart Op

Christmas 2011 took a dramatic turn when Prince Philip underwent emergency angioplasty. The royal family’s visit to Papworth Hospital, Christmas celebrations, and Prince Philip’s recovery added a unique dimension to the festive season.

2016 – William and Kate Enjoy a Middle-Class Christmas

Breaking with tradition, William and Kate spent Christmas with the Middleton family, emphasizing a more relaxed and child-friendly atmosphere. Their unconventional choice reflected a prioritization of family dynamics over royal protocol.

2021 – The Family Gather to Support the Queen

In the Queen’s final Christmas at Windsor Castle, family support took center stage. Joined by her children, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, the Queen’s poignant broadcast acknowledged the loss of Prince Philip and celebrated his enduring spirit.

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