As the first royal to give a broadcast Christmas message—now immortalized on Netflix’s The Crown—Queen Elizabeth II has made her annual video greeting a tradition. This year, however, backlash ensued after she shared a Christmas message that praised unity, as the backdrop of her video highlighted wealth disparity with a glaring gold piano. The internet was quick to pick up on the opulent setting and call it out on Twitter, taking the opportunity to point out that the house in which her gold piano sits is costing taxpayers $460 million in renovations.
Of course, criticizing the queen for living as one with her title often does went against the fabric of her Christmas message. In the greeting, she noted that “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.” She also got personal, referencing everything from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s great-grandchild on the way to their wedding, as well as Princess Eugenie’s recent wedding, and the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s third child, Prince Louis. “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,” she said in the pre-recorded message (which aired while she celebrated Christmas at her Sandringham estate, surrounded by the Royal Fab Four and her extended family). “Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.”
The Queen never responds to criticism so don’t expect her to address any backlash to her video meeting. Some people with Twitter accounts, though, did that work by pointing out that Queen Elizabeth is not only 92 years old but also, quite obviously, a queen and lives as such.
Quite honestly, though, there is no need for the Queen to defend her gold piano and lavish home because by the time she does the general public will be distracted once again by the celebrity of the royal family. Speaking of which, have you heard that Meghan Markle addressed her due date?