King Charles has chosen to broadcast his first Christmas message from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the wedding of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, was held three months ago.
In a photo released ahead of the Christmas Day broadcast, the King stands in the quire for his inaugural celebratory address to the country and the rest of the Commonwealth.
No details have been released on what he will say in his message, but he is expected to pay a personal tribute to his mother, who is buried next to the Duke of Edinburgh in the George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s.
It was taped on Dec. 13, two days before the release of the final three episodes of the controversial Netflix Harry & Meghan documentary series in which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attacked the royal family and the institution of the monarchy.
It seems unlikely that the king will refer to the personal family troubles that have dogged his reign so far. His mother used her Christmas broadcasts to address universal themes, her faith, and the highs and lows of the previous year.
One message he does convey, however, is his passion for environmental issues, with the Christmas tree seen on the air adorned with ornaments made from sustainable materials such as paper and glass, as well as natural pine cones. During the broadcast, the choir of St George’s sings the national anthem and sings a Christmas carol.
Relatives gather in Sandringham and attend a Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church. The royal flag was seen on the estate on Thursday, indicating that the king had already arrived. He and Camilla, the Queen Consort, are expected to be joined by family members, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two children.
In a break from tradition, the King and Queen’s consort will reportedly head to their home in Birkhall on Scotland’s Balmoral estate after the Christmas period. Queen Elizabeth usually stayed at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk until after February 6, her accession day, preferring to stay there until after the death of her father, George VI, at Sandringham in 1952.
Instead, it is believed that King Charles prefers to continue his existing tradition of spending time in Scotland, and is expected to travel there in the new year.
Condolence cards containing financial donations sent to the King after the Queen’s death have been passed on to the Fuel Bank Foundation, along with an additional donation from Charles through the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.
Matthew Cole, the head of the national charity, which provides fuel vouchers, said: “The money will be used to keep vulnerable people warm this winter, providing a physical and mental reprieve from the challenges posed by the energy crisis and the cost of livelihood. .”