King Charles has used his Christmas Day message as an opportunity to emphasise the importance of kindness, compassion and caring for the environment, while calling on people to lend a hand to those less fortunate as the world continues to grapple with economic hardship and ongoing global conflict.
The King’s Christmas speech follows a longstanding tradition that dates back 90 years. The first Christmas message was delivered by George V in 1932 via radio.
Queen Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas speech in 1952, with her first televised broadcast presented in 1957.
The late Queen continued the tradition throughout the duration of her 70 year reign before she passed away on Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96.
Delivering his second Christmas message as Monarch, Charles extended heartfelt appreciation to volunteers, charitable individuals, and those dedicated to caring for others, especially those diligently fulfilling their roles during the holiday season.
“This is all the more important at a time of real hardship for many, when we need to build on existing ways to support others less fortunate than ourselves,” Charles said.
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Breaking from the conventional royal seasonal messages, Charles’ address took place beside a living Christmas tree, a departure heralded by Buckingham Palace, which affirmed its commitment to replanting the tree.
In acknowledgment of Charles’ extensive contributions to environmental causes over the decades, the adorned tree featured natural and sustainable decorations, such as pine cones and paper, underscoring the Monarch’s dedication to eco-friendly practices.
“We care for the earth for the sake of our children’s children,” Charles said, speaking from the Centre Room at the Palace.
“During my lifetime I have been so pleased to see a growing awareness of how we must protect the earth and our natural world as the one home which we all share.”
Referring in part to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Charles remarked, “At a time of increasingly tragic conflict around the world, I pray that we can also do all in our power to protect each other.”
In his capacity as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, bestowed with the title “Defender of the Faith,” Charles underscored the relevance of Christian teachings, emphasising the importance of extending goodness to others, a principle that resonates more profoundly in the current context.
To celebrate Christmas Day, the Royal Family attended the traditional festive church service on the King’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
Royal enthusiasts gathered to witness the Prince and Princess of Wales, accompanied by their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, strolling hand in hand from Sandringham house to St Mary Magdalene Church.
Following close behind were the King and Queen Camilla, warmly greeted by approximately a thousand local residents, many of whom had patiently waited for hours on Christmas morning to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family.