LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II is expected to deliver a particularly personal message to the nation on Christmas Day this year after Buckingham Palace posted a photo of the monarch recording the speech alongside a photo of her and her husband, died earlier this year.

The image provided by the palace showed the Queen in the white salon at Windsor Castle, with a framed photograph of Elizabeth and Prince Philip arm in arm in the foreground. In both photos, she wears the same chrysanthemum sapphire brooch.

This Christmas marks the first since the death of Prince Philip, who died in April, two months before his 100th birthday. The coronavirus restrictions in place at the time of her funeral meant Elizabeth was sitting alone – a poignant symbol of how she would spend her life as a widow in the future.

The Christmas Day televised message is a tradition in Britain, a time when the monarch reflects on the meaning of the holiday and the challenges the country faces. When recording this year’s post, Elizabeth wore a Christmas red waffle wool shift dress from British designer Angela Kelly. A lighted Christmas tree shone behind her.

Last year, the Queen took the opportunity to send a message of hope at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and to praise the “indomitable spirit” of scientists, rescue workers and others who rose to the challenges created by covid-19.