King Charles III delivers his first Christmas message
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King Charles “brushed aside” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s attempts to attract attention – and their omission from his first Christmas speech as monarch was “significant”, a royal commentator has said. Jonathan Sacerdoti pointed out that by focusing on the “selflessness and service”, primarily that of non-royals, Charles had delivered a message about “wider human goodness” free from “digs, jibes and complaints”.
During the 15-minute address, Charles praised the work of the police, the NHS and highlighted the generosity of ordinary Britons.
However there was no mention of his younger son, his wife or their Netflix documentary show.
The six-episode series was released earlier this month and packed with controversial claims, not least Harry’s claim that both Charles and his brother Prince William “screamed at him” after he said and Meghan were stepping down as frontline royal in 2020.
Mr Sacerdoti, whose credits include the BBC, Channel 4 News and Sky News, and who is a special correspondent for The Spectator, told Express.co.uk: “I think it was significant that he didn’t mention Harry and Meghan but not in the way some might have expected.
“He barely mentioned anyone beyond a very small circle of royals tightly linked to the previous, current and next generation in the succession – his mother, his wife, and the Prince and Princess of Wales.
“Otherwise he focused on non-royals who were making significant contributions to the wider public in need, rather than members of his own family.”
Such a move seemed intentionally designed to shift the emphasis from the dramas of the family to the realities of other people’s lives and struggles, Mr Sacerdoti suggests.
He added: “The speech brushed away Harry and Meghan’s massive efforts to pull focus and attract attention, almost dismissing those efforts as nothing more than distractions from what he thinks the genuine concerns of the Royal Family and society truly are. He didn’t allow them to set his agenda.”
With respect to the substance of the speech, Mr Sacerdoti said: “He really focused on people who served others, and the selfless help they give to people in genuine need.
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“When he spoke of the Prince and Princess of Wales, he again focused on their service to those in need.
“He talked of his own visit to Bethlehem, and the religious importance he felt in that place.”
Charles had also made a point, as expected, of talking about other faiths, and also of people who were not religious or believers in any faith, Mr Sacerdoti stressed.
He continued: “Instead he focused on a message of light and love for our fellow human. It was short, to the point, moving and judicious.
“He didn’t focus on personal squabbles or victories, but instead on a message of selflessness and service, primarily that of non-royals who he praised and admired.
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“This was a message of Christian goodness and of wider human goodness, without any digs or jibes at others or any complaints.
“If this speech was among his first public tests as monarch, he passed with the highest marks.”
The pre-recorded message began with Charles reflecting on how he was standing “so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father” in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, and he thanked the public for the “love and sympathy” expressed in cards and messages of condolence.
He said: “I particularly want to pay tribute to all those wonderfully kind people who so generously give food or donations, or that most precious commodity of all, their time, to support those around them in greatest need, together with the many charitable organisations which do such extraordinary work in the most difficult circumstances.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Sussexes via Archewell for comment.
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