Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas speech was very religious & bittersweet

Queen's Christmas broadcast

I’ll be honest, I usually don’t actually sit here and listen to or watch Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas Day speech, but for some reason, I was in the mood to hear what she had to say. Is she usually this religious? It felt like she was really doing a Christian deep-cut this year. Which, I suspect, is probably because she wasn’t allowed to worship in her favorite way this year. She’s barely been able to go to Sunday services throughout the year, and QEII apparently likes to go to church twice on Christmas. Anyway, if you’d like to watch a speech about the parable of the Good Samaritan and how many people in society stepped up for the greater good this year, enjoy:

I was moved by her shout-outs to the multi-faith society that is the United Kingdom and the British commonwealth, and that she recognized that people of all faiths have struggled, like she has, to worship in the ways they would like to. I was also moved by her talk of the greater good, and the nurses and critical care workers. And yet… all I could think about was how she and her family made asses out of themselves all year with their maskless bullsh-t. There are so many good souls trying to do the best for society… and the Queen and her family are not those people.

Historian Sally Bedell Smith gave some exclusive, ass-kissy quotes to Vanity Fair about the Queen’s year in quarantine. Bedell Smith says in part: “People around the world value her leadership qualities more than ever….The Queen has managed the myriad challenges of 2020 with admirable dexterity and thoughtfulness. She has always been adept at moving imperceptibly with the times, following the ‘Marmite Theory’ of Monarchy. But this year she has not only been measured but swift.” In case you’re like me and thought “WTF is the Marmite Theory,” it’s just as asinine as you would expect: it’s basically that the Queen makes slow, snail-pace changes over the years and no one notices. And the Queen hasn’t actually moved with the times at all, let’s face it. But that’s not all Bedell Smith had to say:

“This year, the Queen turned a potentially messy exit by Harry and Meghan into a humane but thoroughly pragmatic solution that was hard to criticize. She was decisive and firm but understanding, offering them a re-entry if their plans failed to work out.”

“We saw that kind of response after Diana’s death, when the Queen’s understandable impulse to protect her grandsons drew unfair criticism. Once she recognized the threat to the monarchy, she pivoted smartly and gave an incredibly effective tribute to Diana, televised live. Her bow to Diana’s coffin in the funeral procession was spontaneous and powerful. Then in the aftermath, the Queen took stock and modified royal behavior during engagements to incorporate some of the best of what Diana had done in her charitable work. When Covid hit, she seemed to recognize the wartime analogy and positioned herself as the ‘sheet anchor in the middle for people to hang on to in times of trouble,’ as David Airlie, her former Lord Chamberlain, once described her to me. The Queen’s “We will meet again” speech was pitch perfect and well timed.”

[From Vanity Fair]

I get why Prince Charles was angry about The Crown’s Season 4, but I also think that QEII should be pretty concerned too – so much of The Crown’s subtext has been simply that the Queen is out of touch, that she’s cold and distant, that she has no idea how to be a mother, that her first instinct is usually really tone-deaf and that she’s actually quite petty, punitive and jealous of “popular” royals. My point is that this has not been a good year for the Queen, despite the outright desperation from the royal commentators to make it sound that way. But yeah, the Christmas speech was better than I was expecting.

The Royal Family thank Key Workers at Windsor Castle

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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61 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas speech was very religious & bittersweet”

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  1. Elle says:

    The Queen is the head of the church of England. We really only get to see that at Christmas.

  2. Isa says:

    So Christian, while she does everything she can to shield her slimy son from rape and trafficking charges. Idk guys something makes it hard for me to take her seriously on morality.

  3. Belle says:

    Still can’t believe “royalty” exists in 2020 and people are actually in “awe” of any of these people and what they represent.

    • Gk says:

      Yes. I look at them as celebs and not talented ones.

    • Betsy says:

      It makes better sense if you put in the context of people yearning for the stability they felt …ago. Ronald Reagan was a terrible president and I in no way yearn for his politics, but there’s a fraction of my brain that sees him and remembers the security of early childhood. Royalty probably represents something like that to a lot of people.

      Also perhaps white supremacy for some of them, as we have seen this year.

      • Chelle says:

        Betsy,

        In general, I agree with your statement—especially where QEII is concerned. She also looks good for a woman who is 94. I know she’s pampered and catered to way beyond the average but she truly looks like a woman in her 80s. Purple looks good on her.

        Anyway, I only posted because of what you said about Reagan. I grew up in a large urban city, and my memories associated with him are the exact opposite of yours. For me, and many city dwellers, it wasn’t security or stability but destruction: mental health, the homeless, drugs. It was like the federal government took a sledgehammer to cities. I just find it so ironic when people I meet have such great things to say about him or comments like yours. These types of differences really emphasize place and perspective and where you are seated at the table.

        BTW: my niece associates Clinton with the security of early childhood. Whenever, we talk about politics from that era she always says that.

      • Betsy says:

        @Chelle – Reagan doesn’t make me feel secure and I hope I was clear enough that he and his gross politics were absolutely abhorrent. But because he was in office for my first eight years, when people reference him, I mentally reference that time in my life when I was responsible for nothing but a food and clean clothes materialized magically, when all my grandparents (and several greats) were alive and my extended family still had good and friendly relationships. I have NOTHING good to say about Ronald Reagan, merely that he reminds me of my childhood by dint of his having been everywhere.

      • L84Tea says:

        @Betsy I totally understand what you are trying to say. I am from the same era and associate him with my childhood. Carter was technically president when I was born, but Reagan is the first president I actually remember, and when he was no longer president, I remember it feeling strange even at 10 years old.

      • Chelle says:

        @ Betsy. Gotcha. BTW: I wasn’t criticizing you. I was a kid too during that time. My point, poorly made (I guess), was that people have such nostalgia for him or that era and I have none of that. Like you, my great-grandparents, grandparents and family were all intact. Despite a few up and downs, most family members were doing ok to good. And . . . and the afterschool specials were pretty good too. I can remember rushing home to see them.

        When my viewpoint is the total opposite of others I get curious about what we each are seeing (or not) and why that might the case. So, once again, I wasn’t criticizing you or trying to dump on your memories. However, thank you for the clarification.

  4. TheOriginalMia says:

    Didn’t watch the speech, but the first thing that caught my eye was the lone photograph of Phillip. Played games last year and it cost her a grandson and his family, increased the schism between the families and did nothing but reinforce the ridiculousness of continuing her reign at her age. All that said…the speech sounds lovely. She should be appreciative of the 1st responders and frontline workers. A lot of people have fallen on their faith for guidance and support. It’s been a trying, sad and difficult year.

    • Becks1 says:

      the photograph stood out to me too. Just one picture and its of Phillip.

      • Chelle says:

        But the video montage included Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Sophie.

        I guess that was the work-around.

      • Kalana says:

        Wait, no Edward or Anne?

      • Chelle says:

        Re: Anne – I’d have to go back and watch. She may have been one of the faces that was flashed on the zoom calls that were shown. If so, neither she nor Edward stood out to me. All in all, it was a good to decent speech.

    • Gina says:

      Was she even participating in writing of this speech? Nope. It was given to her and she read it. I can’t bring myself to be moved by this speech. Her actions speak much louder, and none of them was good.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        I agree. She is the same woman who did not understand why people were outraged by her treatment of Diana. She has never been ‘in touch’ with the plebs she rules over.

      • AnnaKist says:

        It makes me like the meme I received even more! Have you all seen it? She’s sits there, and says, “Well … Where do we f#%=¥#g start?” 😂😂😂

    • Tessa says:

      Was Princess Anne included in the montage?

  5. VS says:

    what worldwide leadership? I started paying attention to the RF because of Meg and yet I will not waste my time listening to this woman…….. she is NOT a leader; if her firm was a fortune 500 company, she would have been fired a long time ago. She represents everything that’s wrong with anything hereditary! you don’t need talent or skills, you only need to come out of the right uterus first

  6. Sofia says:

    I didn’t watch the speech and I haven’t in previous years. I just have no interest in it. That’s all. That said, it was a nice speech and it resonated deeply with a certain part of that population (just like her previous one earlier in the year). I’m not in that part of the population but I understand that she and the speech mean a lot to those who are in that part.

  7. The Duchess says:

    This woman is so out of her depth, it’s cringe to see her carry on now. Just give it up, Queenie. The way she continues to bury her head in the sand and ignore all the stinking cr*p that surrounds her toxic family has been her ultimate undoing.

  8. Islandgirl says:

    Agreed Alexandria. As the citizen of a member of the Commonwealth and one of which the Queen remains head of State, I didn’t really care one way or the other.
    Since the Harry and Meghan fiasco I have lost all respect for the family.
    I don’t think Meghan and Harry got everything right but my God, the BRF got most things wrong..very very wrong.
    More than anything I came to believe that they just don’t care.
    They have the support of their racist white supporters and they seem to be comfortable with that. I am assuming that there are no people of colour on staff so they are clueless about how their actions look.

    • Alexandria says:

      Gah my comment got deleted, not sure why.

      Anyway yes no respect to her pretending she’s self sacrificing and having higher moral grounds and authority. She needs to go. Now I see through her.

  9. ABritGuest says:

    I didn’t see the speech but saw some royal fans upset about talk about diversity, equality and references to other religions etc. I’m guessing the Queen is pushing diversity points to keep hold of the commonwealth. I imagine we’ll see more of that. Of course there’s celebrating diversity and actually allowing for inclusion. We saw how the royal family handled that.

    I think a reference to the Good Samaritan was nice. Stories of the kindness of strangers, neighbours helping each other especially those who were isolated, volunteering at food banks etc during this pandemic has been one of the only good things in this year.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    I live in a Commonwealth country, a Republic and I don’t think the Queen’s Christmas message has been shown on TV since the 1980s. So Ms. Smith doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she talks about the Queen as a world leader. The Queen is seen by most of the Commonwealth as a relic of the imperial past. Ms. Smith has also rewritten the history surrounding Diana’s death. She wasn’t decisive and firm in her response. Tony Blair had to convince the Queen to return to UK and to acknowledge the passing of her grandsons’ mother. She didn’t want the Palace involved in Diana’s funeral arrangements because Diana wasn’t a member of the Royal Family – her grandson’s mother. It’s been reported that when the family went to church the day after Diana died, the priest was told not to mention Diana at all and Harry turned to Charles and asked if his mother was really dead.

    As for the treatment of Harry and Meghan following their announcement that they were leaving, again the Queen was slow to react and sought to punish them rather than be understanding. The fallout could have been much different if she had acknowledged that Harry had been struggling with his role for a long time and she understood his desire to make his own life for himself and his family. She didn’t do that and she let the media dictate the narrative for her which was punitive and spiteful.

    • equality says:

      Really. She could still speak up and defend H&M’s decision and right to live their own life but she won’t. She put some statement on the royal website which the majority of people don’t even realize exists so she did the bare minimum.

    • Nic919 says:

      The queen is still head of state in Canada and I can’t say anyone over here actually watches it on Christmas Day other than devoted royalists. I think CBC airs it, but I am not sure.

      • Talia says:

        The Queen does a separate speech to the Commonwealth which I watched when I spent Christmas in New Zealand. I assume she did the same this year. I know NZ puts it on TV, I don’t know about other Commonwealth countries.

  11. PEARL GREY says:

    The Queen hasn’t shown any leadership during this crisis at all. She has mostly been unseen, took forever to address the nation, set a poor example with maskless outings, and allowed her senior royals to traipse up and down the country on the corona express. The royal family are not useful in difficult times and this pandemic has exposed that. They need fluff pieces to convince people that the country “looks to them now more than ever” when in reality, their words do nothing and their actions are all for PR only. They are in the position to do more but their number one priority is and always will be self preservation.

  12. equality says:

    Her speeches were both nice during the year but how helpful are speeches to somebody who is homeless or hungry? It’s funny how those who worship the Queen, accuse H&M of just “preaching” and doing nothing when that is literally what the queen does. It’s terrible that Archie has a playhouse during a pandemic but the Queen can have multiple residences and give up nothing and she is wonderful. And how exactly do you reference equality in a speech with a straight face when you literally expect others to bow down to you?
    The nasty twitter users were saying how she “sneaked” in video of Anne, C&C, Ed & Sophie and K&W during her speech but left out H&M. As usual, they missed the point that she snubbed all her “non-working” grandchildren. Bea & Eugenie were in the UK and doing more than K&W and got nothing.

  13. Bohemian Angel says:

    There is nothing this woman has to say that I want to listen to. That’s all I’ve got.

  14. Cecilia says:

    I had no idea this peech already happened😂

    • VS says:

      LOL……..I guess most CBs are not the intended audience. I am a US American, I am definitely not her target audience; we have enough problem with Orange man here…..soon he will be gone; thx u gosh

  15. duchess of hazard says:

    The only Queen’s Speech I watch is Lady Leshurr, and she stopped doing those years ago, lol.

  16. Gail says:

    I didn’t watch the speech. I find it hard to swallow bullshit from a petty racist, who stands by and allows her people per say to abuse the two colored people in her family, I am including Archie in that . Not only does she say or do nothing about that, she also protects a rapist at all cost. How can such a vile hypocrite be head of a church? It’s a insult and disgrace to God.

    • booboocita says:

      It’s the religiosity that gets me most. How do you speak publicly of your faith when you so assiduously avoid putting it in practice? Is your faith purely performative, then? And is performative faith, truly faith?

  17. Betsy says:

    Kaiser, I think your last paragraph is so spot on. That show showed very well just how blinkered Elizabeth is, how she puts boundaries in the wrong places. For the easiest example: I think that as a mother she would be right to continue to love her pedophile son, but as a queen it is inappropriate to protect him and preserve as many of his privileges as possible. Yet she protects and coddles him – assuming the rape charges are invented, I would assume – while punishing Harry and Meghan?

    But the layers here are what stymie us all when it comes to TQ. So we know she herself is blinkered, perhaps in part from her upbringing and perhaps innately. But now she’s old and doesn’t seem to care as much about things as she did in the past. How much of the petty comes from her staff (who seem to have become a lawless nation unto themselves) and the palace workers? How much is spin? I think that’s what makes this such a fascinating parlor game.

    • Tessa says:

      I read that Bea and Edo want the “big” wedding when post pandemic happens and she would wear the gown the Queen lent her. And then there will be possibly a “big” Christening for Andrew’s first grandchild. Very difficult to watch, Both events.

      • Betsy says:

        I don’t wish her dead, but I hope Charles is on the throne soon; I don’t think he’ll give Andrew the great pass his mother has given him.

  18. TeamAwesome says:

    Yes, she’s always this religious in her Christmas speech. What struck me is how completely unbelievable those words would be coming out of either Charles, or especially William’s, mouth.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      @TeamAwesome I often think of the line in Walk the Line – if they don’t support all in need they’re not really Christian. Of course, this is not verbatim. :)

  19. Lisa B says:

    The speech was calibrated to show the Queen relating to “regular” people. Yes, the Queen and her husband are isolating, but remember that they are doing so in a castle with lots of staff. The hug and squeeze of the hand references sound like something Diana would have said. If Harry & Meghan made those references or talked about multiple faiths, they would have been criticized as “woke” and not following “protocol.”

  20. Merricat says:

    I think the lone photo of Philip is meant as a tribute to a dying man.

  21. Dh says:

    deep-cut Christian is inflammatory language.

  22. Dizzy says:

    “Is she usually this religious?” Ummm yes! I realize you actually don’t know the Queen very well.
    Yes, she is the head of the Church of England. It’s fundamentally what’s she’s all about.

    • Likeyoucare says:

      She is the head religious, but is she religious. Does she lives her life as a true christian?
      What is the punishment for a raper and adulterer?
      What does the bible said?

  23. Lizzie says:

    I liked the religious aspect of the speech. It feels right that the leader of a Christian religion should mention Jesus and the Bible at Christmas.
    I made the same comment on another post, but much of what she said about loss and loneliness applies every year.

  24. RoyalBlue says:

    So this year it’s the Good Samaritan? I bet she has the Prodigal Son lined up for next year to represent either the return of Harry of the forgiveness of Andrew.

    I did not listen to her speech and I never will. All the spin in the world cannot change who she is or what the monarchy stands for.

  25. Twiggy says:

    At first I thought the photo on her desk was Prince Andrew.

  26. Lionel says:

    I’m worried about her health, TBH. First at the “new BRF” event at Windsor and now during this speech she strikes as unusually thin and frail. She’s aged noticeably since her “We’ll Meet Again” speech or her mini-trooping in June.

    This year has aged us all, of course, but that sort of quick physical decline in an active nonagenarian is a bad sign. She may know something that we don’t. And it may be that this is her final Christmas speech.

  27. MJM says:

    I tuned in because my parents always do and were visiting. I grudgingly had to admit it was one of her better Christmas addresses.

    • Rose says:

      She didn’t write it. She never does. It’s all speechwriters and she just reads it on the teleprompter.

  28. lucylee says:

    I don’t understand how she can be protrayed as a kind grandmother figure in one article and portray her as petty and bitchy in another article one the same day and in the same paper. Please make it make sense.