King Charles pictured in first Christmas speech as monarch as he pays tribute to ‘beloved mother’ Queen Elizabeth
The King will pay tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth during his first Christmas address to the nation.
An image of Charles, taken during the recording of his inaugural festive address, has been released ahead of the broadcast being screened on Christmas Day.
The monarch is pictured standing while delivering his address. Although the Queen recorded her Christmas broadcast sat at a desk in recent years, she had also stood in decades past.
The festive message was recorded on 13 December at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The late monarch’s committal service was held at the place of worship. She was laid to rest in the George VI Memorial Chapel, within St George’s, with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles spoke movingly about his “beloved mother”, who reigned for 70 years, in his first broadcast as King screened the day after her death on 8 September.
In that address he said: “We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.”
His Christmas message is expected to contain a similar tribute to the Queen. Some royal experts have also speculated that he may make a special mention of the Prince of Wales’ environmental campaigning and his Earthshot Prize.
However, the King will be unlikely to address any of the contents of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix documentary series, Harry and Meghan, which was released this month.
His Majesty’s speech was written before the final episodes were aired and it is unclear if he will mention Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as he did in his first speech as King.
The King’s Christmas message was recorded in the quire of St George’s Chapel, where the royal family sat during the Queen’s committal service. During the broadcast, the choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor performed the National Anthem and sang a carol.
In the background, a large Christmas tree can be seen decorated with ornaments made from sustainable materials including paper and glass as well as natural products like pine cones.
As the Prince of Wales, the King regularly has voiced concerns about the threat to the environment and worked to bring governments, along with the private and public sector, together to find solutions to the climate crisis.
The picture also shows foliage decorations that have been placed among the stalls in the quire, featuring holly, berried ivy and red skimmia.
Following the recording of the King’s festive address, the Christmas tree was re-used by St George’s Chapel in the Dean’s Cloister for visitors to enjoy.
The broadcast was produced by BBC Studios Events, ahead of ITV whose turn it was to record the King’s first festive address under a rotating producer system between the BBC, ITV and Sky News.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the decision was taken as the BBC had “experience of shooting in St George’s Chapel this year”.
Additional reporting by PA.