Seated behind a desk where the only family photo on show was a private portrait of Philip, the Queen expressed sympathy for the ordeal of the past few months while also laying out hope of a return to normality.
She said what many people want "for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand" - but "even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn".
"Today, our frontline services still shine that lamp for us - supported by the incredible achievements of modern science - and we owe them a debt of gratitude", she said.
Other members of the royal family are spending the festive period at their respective residences this year.
The Queen's speech was filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle - the same room where her great-grandson Archie's royal christening photos were taken and where Harry and Meghan's official royal wedding photos were also taken.
Queen Elizabeth II delivered her annual Christmas address Friday morning, offering a message of hope to those who have struggled in 2020, BBC reports. "For Christians, Jesus is 'the light of the world, ' but we can't celebrate his birth today in quite the usual way".
"If you are among them, you are not alone", she continued. But we need life to go on.
Lincolnshire escapes tier 4 from Boxing Day
It comes as the Health Secretary announced that two new cases have been detected of yet another foreign Covid strain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson established the new Tier 4 on Saturday, now the toughest level of restrictions.
She concluded: "It is in that spirit that I wish you a very happy Christmas".
Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge acknowledged those going through a particularly hard time this year because of the pandemic, tweeting pictures of people working through the festive season.
That's Christmas 2020 and the Royal Family are following the restrictions like people across the country.
The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, have been living at Windsor Castle during the pandemic with a small household staff. "For the Queen too, the fact she has had to see other members of her family at a distance or through a window or across a long corridor".
It is also in this spirit that the executives of the British channel Channel 4 have made a decision to broadcast a false Christmas address by the Queen.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has offered a heartfelt message of hope in her annual Christmas speech.
"Good Samaritans have emerged across society showing care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God", she said, referring to Britons' response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 70,000 people in the United Kingdom.