January 26, 2023

FRIDAY 23 DECEMBER 2200 GMT Previously unreleased photograph dated 13/12/22 of King Charles III recording his first Christmas broadcast in the Quire of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.  Issue date: Friday, December 23, 2022. PA photo.  See PA story ROYAL King.  Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The first image of King Charles’s inaugural Christmas address to the nation has been released ahead of Sunday’s broadcast (Photo: PA)

King Charles is expected to pay tribute to the Queen in his Christmas message to the nation since he ascended the throne.

A photo of Charles, taken during the recording of the annual celebratory speech, has been released ahead of the Christmas Day broadcast.

The monarch is depicted standing in a navy suit as he delivers his address.

In recent decades, the Queen has stood before her Christmas broadcast, although in recent years she has been behind a desk.

The King’s Christmas message was recorded in the quire of St George’s Chapel, where the royal family sat during the Queen’s service and where the former monarch was eventually buried next to her husband, Prince Philip.

Charles last addressed the nation in his first broadcast as King, shown the day after the Queen’s death on 8 September.

In that speech he spoke touchingly of his “beloved mother,” saying, “We owe her the most sincere debt a family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.”

Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas broadcast

The King is expected to pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth during his speech (Picture: Getty)

In the background of Charles’s message, a large Christmas tree can be seen in the background, decorated with ornaments made of sustainable materials.

As Prince of Wales, the King regularly expressed concern about environmental threats and made efforts to bring governments and the private and public sectors together to find solutions to the climate change crisis.

The recently released image shows foliage decorations placed between the stalls in the quire, featuring holly, berry ivy and red skimmia.

Following the recording of the King’s celebratory speech, the Christmas tree was reused by St George’s Chapel at 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 celebratory address under a rotating producer system between the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the decision was made because the BBC had “experience shooting at St George’s Chapel this year”.

WREXHAM, WALES - DECEMBER 09: King Charles III delivers a speech at a celebration service in St Giles???  Church to mark Wrexham becoming a city during his visit to Wrexham on December 9, 2022 in Wrexham, Wales.  (Photo by Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Charles paid tribute to his “beloved mother” during his first speech since becoming king on September 8, a day after the Queen’s death (Photo: Getty)

The elephant in the room will be the ongoing family crisis between the Windsors and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the address being ‘sandwiched’ between the Netflix series Harry & Meghan and Prince Harry’s forthcoming autobiography, which is expected to feature more criticism on the royal family.

However, the longstanding feud between the warring royal factions is unlikely to be mentioned, with palace insiders suggesting the centerpiece of the speech will be a tribute to the Queen and her historic reign.

Speaking to i, royal historian Jeffery Archer said, “There will be no indication of family politics or other shenanigans at this point. He will want to bring the message of a family that comes together in sorrow.’

“People will look at these words. It will be vanilla for them. It’ll be as vanilla as it gets.”

The speech is also expected to include an acknowledgment of the cost of living crisis and the effect it has had on families across the country.

Contact our news team by emailing webnews@metro.co.uk.

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