King Charles chose to broadcast his first Christmas message from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the memorial service for his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, was held three months ago.
In a photo released before the broadcast on Christmas Day, the monarch is seen standing up to quiver his inaugural address to the country and the rest of the Commonwealth.
No details have been revealed about what he will say in his letter, but he is expected to honor his mother, who is buried in the George VI memorial chapel within St George’s Chapel, alongside the Duke of Edinburgh.
Recorded on December 13, two days before the release of the final three episodes of the controversial Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan in which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attack the royal family and the institution of the monarchy.
It seems unlikely that the king would refer to the personal family problems that have plagued his reign thus far. His mother used her Christmas programming to talk about universal topics, her faith, and the highs and lows the country had seen in the previous year.
One of the messages he conveys, however, is his passion for environmental issues, featuring a broadcast Christmas tree decorated with ornaments made from sustainable materials including paper and glass, as well as natural pine cones. During the broadcast, St. George’s Choir performs the National Anthem and sings a hymn.
The family will gather in Sandringham for Christmas Day services at St Mary Magdalene Church. Royal standards were seen flying around the estate on Thursday, indicating that the king had already arrived. He and Camilla, the Queen’s Queen, are expected to join family members including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two children.
Breaking with tradition, it is said that the King and Queen will head home to Birkhall on the Balmoral estate in Scotland after the Christmas period. Queen Elizabeth usually stayed at her home at Sandringham in Norfolk until February 6, the day of her accession, preferring to stay there until the anniversary of the death of her father, George VI, at Sandringham in 1952.
Instead, King Charles is understood to prefer continuing his existing tradition of spending time in Scotland, and is expected to travel there in the New Year.
Condolence cards containing monetary donations sent to the King after the Queen’s death were passed on to the Fuel Bank Foundation, along with an additional donation from Charles via the Prince of Wales’ Charity Trust.
Matthew Cole, chair of the national charity, which is providing the fuel vouchers, said: “The money will be used to help keep vulnerable people warm this winter, providing some physical and mental relief from the challenges posed by the energy and cost-of-living crisis.”
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