Royal expert: Queen used Christmas message to pass baton to next generation
Published Wednesday, December 26, 2018 8:58AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 26, 2018 9:01AM EST
Queen Elizabeth II used her Christmas message to pass the baton to the next generation, according to a royal expert.
Respect for others was central to the monarch’s 2018 dispatch, which has been interpreted as a call for greater civility in the Brexit debate.
But the Queen also put emphasis on the continuity of the monarchy, CTV News royal commentator Richard Berthelsen said.
“She has woven in a very clear statement about the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and she’s moving in this message to pass the baton in a way to the next generation,” Berthelsen told CTV News Channel from West Kelowna, B.C.
“There were a couple of clips of him and the Duchess of Cornwall in the message and she mentioned his 70th birthday and had a very carefully staged black and white photograph of him as a very young infant with her and the Duke of Edinburgh.”
Queen Elizabeth mentioned other family members, showing clips of the weddings of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle earlier this year and the arrival of new grandchild Prince Louis to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are expecting their first child in spring.
Berthelsen said media speculation around a rift between the two Duchesses was out of proportion to reality.
The two Duchesses deliberately walked together into Christmas Day service in Sandringham, Berthelsen said.
“That is a very clear statement by them, it’s an answer back to the media hysteria that has been going on about that relationship,” he said.
“The members of the royal family were very shoulder to shoulder about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
“It’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies – and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied.”— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 25, 2018
Watch The Queen's Christmas broadcast in full: https://t.co/2lXKZUBN5V
The Queen gets quite nervous about her messages and works hard on them with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Berthelsen said.
The 97-year-old Duke did not attend the Christmas Day service in Sandringham.
“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human-being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.”— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 25, 2018
In recent years a lot of attention has been paid to what’s in the background, the photographs on the Queen’s desk and the room that’s chosen at Buckingham Palace for her message, Berthelsen said.
“The Queen is very devout in her Christianity and she has felt in recent years that the message should take on a much more Christian tone to remind people of the nature of the holiday,” he said.
The Queen’s grandfather George V began the tradition of the monarch’s Christmas message to the Commonwealth in the 1930s.