Of bold colors and twinkling lights, the setting for King Charles’ first Christmas speech is a moving tribute to his late mother.
His Majesty recorded the message on the spot in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where the world could catch a final glimpse of the Queen’s coffin as it gently descended through the floor in the poignant final moment of her wedding service.
He is expected to speak touchingly about Queen Elizabeth in the message, which will air at 3pm on Christmas Day.
A photo taken as the pre-recorded speech was filmed shows the King striking a cheery tone in a bold blue suit, jazzy tie and patterned handkerchief. It will be taken as a nod to his mother, who believed that the best way to believe was to be seen and dress colorfully.
Bold colors and twinkling lights set the tone for King Charles’ first Christmas address
The Queen gave her Christmas speeches from behind her desk at Buckingham Palace and usually sat, but Charles stands for his speech, and there is much anticipation about what the 74-year-old monarch will say.
While he is expected to pay tribute to the Queen’s long reign, he has also brought a modern touch, with a large Christmas tree in the background adorned with ornaments made from sustainable materials and natural products such as pine cones.
A royal aide said the decision to film the speech in St George’s Chapel was an example of how he intended to carry on his late mother’s traditions while adding a “different” touch of his own.
His Majesty recorded the message at the place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where the world could get a last glimpse of the Queen’s coffin.
It was taped last week – two days before the explosive Harry and Meghan series ended on Netflix with a volley of attacks on the royal family. The palace has not released any details about the speech in advance and it is not known what references Charles may make to his youngest son.
The broadcast was produced by TBEN Studios Events, rather than ITV, whose turn it was to record the King’s first celebratory address under a rotating producer system between the TBEN, ITV and Sky News. A spokesperson for Palace said the decision was made because the TBEN had “experience shooting at St George’s Chapel this year”.
The King and Queen’s consort, Camilla, are now at Sandringham in Norfolk for the traditional royal Christmas. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest Christmas parties in years, with a full house of royals – minus the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, of course. All will accompany the King and Queen’s consort to morning service at Sandringham Church on Christmas Day in a show of unity after a difficult year.
The Queen gave her Christmas speeches from behind her desk at Buckingham Palace and usually sat, but Charles stands for his speech
The Cambridges are expected to take all three of their children to church for the first time, Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and scene-stealing little Prince Louis, four. The disgraced Prince Andrew is expected to be joined not only by his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, but also by his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, in what will be seen as an olive branch from the King to his brother, which he has angered by refusing to consider allowing him to return to official duties.
Cash sent in condolence cards following the Queen’s death will help keep the power on in poorer households over Christmas after Buckingham Palace passed it on to the charity Fuel Bank Foundation, which provides emergency aid to people without heat, light and live power because they can’t afford to exceed their prepayment gas or electricity meters.
Charles also made a personal donation through the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund.