Charles could ditch Queen’s Christmas tradition over climate concerns

King Charles' Christmas speech discussed by Russell Myers

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King Charles could abandon the late Queen’s tradition of taking the train from London to Sandringham, according to a royal correspondent. Her Majesty the Queen would every year jump on a passenger train from London bound to Sandringham house in Norfolk, where she would spend Christmas with the Royal Family before her annual Christmas message to the British people on December 25. Due to his climate activism, the new King could ditch the train for another mode of transportation, Daily Express correspondent Richard Palmer suggested.

According to several unnamed sources, Mr Palmer said “clearly some things will change”. 

Under the late Queen’s seven-decade reign, “we used to have good signposts”, including the Chrismas lunch, which used to be held at Bukingham Palace and is now held at Windsor. 

“It was always a fun way to show that Christmas is on its way,” he told the Royal Round Up.

The Daily Express Royal Correspondent confessed “one of my favourites” each year was the Queen getting on the regular train service at London’s King’s Cross station to go up to the Kingsland and then on to Sandringham for the start of Christmas. 

“And I am not clear whether the King is going to do that.”

Despite his repeated requests for comments, the Daily Express Royal Correspondent said he has never got a “clear answer” as to whether King Charles would jump on a train to Sandringham this Christmas. 

“He is not somebody who takes the train that often.”

Asked why he would not follow the Queen’s tradition, Mr Palmer said: “There was a period – probaby about 10-15 years ago – when he started getting more and more concerned about his carbon footprint.”

As a result of his climate activism, the King would take fewer helicopters and trains to avoid crisscrossing the country for royal engagements in a bid to reduce his carbon emissions, Mr Palmer added. 

“When he flies now, he’s often using environmentally-friendly fuel.”

From memory, Mr Palmer said the then-Prince Charles took a train from Gloucestershire up to London once and did not like the experience “because he was in first-class carriage working and he was put off because people were looking at him all the time.”

After this uncomfortable experience, King Charles went back to using his car running on biodiesel. 

“He prefers listening to Radio 4 [while] sitting in the back of the car, doing his paperwork while he’s being driven into London.”

While he is told King Charles has returned to taking the train more frequently, Mr Palmer said he would be “pleasantly surprised” if he follows the Queen’s tradition and jumps on a train to Sandringham for Christmas.

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However, he is “sure” the King’s New Year speech will include a tribute to this mother, Her Majesty The Queen, a reflection on the Platinum Jubilee and the Commonwealth as well as a reference to the Royal Family’s work to better understand people’s religions and traditions.

At 3pm on Christmas Day, the British people will gather together for the first King’s Christmas message since 1951. That year, George VI, the late Queen’s father, gave his final such message to the nation while in recovery from serious illness before his death two months later after he failed to recover from a lung operation. 

His daughter, Her Majesty The Queen, took the rein from there for more than 70 years until her final Christmas address in 2021. The Queen remarked that Prince Philip, her late husband, would be absent from the family celebrations. Now the British people have lost her, too.

If King Charles follows the Queen’s tradition, his Christmas message will be broadcast on BBC One, ITV, Sky One, Sky News and via BBC Radio 4 at 3 pm on Sunday, December 25. 

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