In his first-ever traditional Christmas Day message as the British monarch, King Charles III will pay tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy.
In an image released by Buckingham Palace, the 74-year-old is seen next to a Christmas tree at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle recording the message earlier this month to be broadcast on Sunday evening.
The British monarch’s Christmas broadcast is a long-standing tradition and is aimed at people across the UK and the Commonwealth.
It will be the first televised annual royal Christmas Day broadcast not to be presented by the late Queen, who appeared in the first televised message in 1957.
St. George’s Chapel marks a change of scene from the messages recorded by the Queen, who would traditionally be seated and surrounded by photos of her family in a palace room.
It is in the George VI Memorial Chapel of the royal chapel that Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest along with her husband Prince Philip following a state funeral in September.
In other personal touches of the environmentally-minded new King, Buckingham Palace said the tree is plastic-free with recyclable decorations and arrangements of holly and ivy in the background. Following the recording of his festive address, the Christmas tree was re-used by St. George’s Chapel in the Dean’s Cloister for visitors to enjoy, the palace said.
Buckingham Palace said this year’s Christmas carol and the National Anthem will be performed by the choir of St. George’s Chapel.
The King is staying at Sandringham, on his Norfolk royal estate, where he will be joined by leading members of the British royal family to celebrate Christmas as has been the royal tradition.
It will be the first time the family gathers there once again since 2019 due to changes over the COVID pandemic.
On Christmas morning on Sunday, members of the royal family will accompany the King and Queen Consort Camilla to church and royal fans are expected to gather to greet them.
In 2021, the late Queen in her last message reflected on a year of personal grief of “one familiar laugh missing”, with reference to the death of her husband Prince Philip that April and the impact of the COVID pandemic.
“Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why,” she said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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