King set to pay tribute to his ‘darling mama’ in Christmas speech

King Charles' Christmas speech discussed by Russell Myers

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Just three months after the death of the Queen, the speech will touch on his and the nation’s heartache at losing such a constant presence in all our lives.

The King will reaffirm his commitment to his mother’s passionate work beyond these shores and duty to the Commonwealth.

And in a spirit of understanding for which she was known the world over, he will reference those ravaged by worries over the cost of living, as well as the environment, social inequality and global tensions caused by the war in Ukraine.

It is a strikingly similar approach to the powerful but understated words spoken by the Queen in the 69 Christmas Day broadcasts made during her reign.

Dickie Arbiter, her spokesman for 12 years, said: “The Queen’s final Christmas speech in 2021 fondly remembered her strength and stay, Prince Philip.

“I would be surprised if Charles didn’t pay a touching tribute to his mother who was very much part of our lives for 70 years. “It will be a message of reconciliation embracing all faiths and religions. But family will take a back seat – this is an address to the Commonwealth.”

The Queen’s first Christmas Day address in 1952 saw her pay tribute to her father George VI and vow to undertake a lifetime of “faithful service” to Britain and the Commonwealth. She also remarked how she was looking forward to her Coronation the following year.

During his “all encompassing” message Charles is likely to mention his Coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, where his mother was crowned on June 2, 1953.

She was queen of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime, and head of state of 15 realms at the time of her death.

During her radio broadcast from Sandringham in 1952, the Queen said: “We belong, you and I, to a far larger family. We belong, all of us, to the British Commonwealth and Empire, that immense union of nations, with their homes set in all the four corners of the earth. Like our own families, it can be a great power for good – a force which I believe can be of immeasurable benefit to all humanity.”

Tellingly, the King will reassert his promise to continue his mother’s lifelong work as he attempts to keep the Commonwealth thriving and the monarchy in touch with the concerns of everyday families during a period of change.

Tomorrow’s address will be the first from a British king in almost 70 years and Charles will make history as the first male monarch to speak to his subjects in a televised broadcast.

Before the Queen’s first televised speech in 1957, George VI delivered his addresses on the wireless.

The King’s festive message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, which has strong links to the late Queen.

It was where the monarch’s committal service was held as she was laid to rest alongside her husband.

It has been a deeply bittersweet year for King Charles, with the highlight being the memorable Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the summer.

Although the contents of the King’s speech have not been confirmed officially, informed sources say he will pay a very special and heartfelt tribute to his mother, who died at Balmoral on September 8.

It is also thought he will reference his steadfastly loyal father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April last year.

And he is certain to pay tribute to Camilla, his own source of strength and comfort, whom he married in 2005.

But he is expected to look forward with hope and joy, as his mother is so fondly remembered for doing so often during her annual addresses.

Royal author Margaret Holder said: “As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, his speech will surely offer the traditional Christian message of peace and forgiveness.

“This is King Charles’s first Christmas message and his words will be dissected in minute detail. People will look for references to the loss of the late Queen, which was a seismic event for the whole country.

“Some film footage of the Platinum Jubilee and funeral is expected.

“Everyone will be looking out for a mention of Charles’s siblings, including Andrew, who has been stripped of official duties but remains a close family member.

“There is sure to be some focus on William and Catherine, the new Prince and Princess of Wales.

“Will Harry and Meghan get a mention in a speech which was filmed prior to the second, and more inflammatory, tranche of their Netflix series? Perhaps a picture or inclusion in a clip might satisfy their supporters.

“The King is likely to include the Commonwealth, exactly as the Queen used to do for all her Christmas messages.”

During tomorrow’s broadcast, the choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will perform the national anthem and sing a carol.

In the background stands a large Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments made from sustainable materials. Bookmakers say his 3pm message will be the most-watched Christmas programme this year. The King and Queen Consort are spending a quiet, scaled-down Christmas at Sandringham and, in a break with tradition, will retreat to Birkhall, their beloved Scottish home, for an extended break.

● The Sun newspaper has said it regrets the publication of a Jeremy Clarkson column about the Duchess of Sussex and is “sincerely sorry”.

The apology comes after the piece became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained-about article.

In the column, Clarkson said he “hated” Meghan, saying he was “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’”

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