January 25, 2023

A photo of the King has been released as he recorded his very first Christmas message, which is expected to be a tribute to the Queen.

Recorded on December 13 and broadcast on Christmas Day, the message was poignantly filmed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the Queen was laid to rest.

As a nod to his long-standing commitment to the environment, the king is depicted in front of a large Christmas tree, decorated with pine cones and sustainable ornaments made of paper and glass.

It’s a change of scene from the messages recorded by the Queen, where she would traditionally be seated and surrounded by photos of her family.

No photos for the king this year, but there are floral arrangements in the background with English foliage of holly, ivy and red skimmia.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that this year’s Christmas carol and national anthem will be performed by the choir of St George’s Chapel.

The Sovereign’s Christmas broadcast is a long-standing tradition and is shown across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

It is another important milestone for the king.

File photo dated 6/9/2018 of (left to right) Queen Elizabeth II standing with members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, central London, after the Trooping the Color ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday.  The Queen died peacefully in Balmoral this afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced.  Issue date: Thursday 8 September 2022.

The Royal Family’s first Christmas without the Queen

He currently resides at Sandringham, his estate in Norfolk, where he will be joined by members of the royal family to celebrate Christmas.

It’s the first time the family has gathered here since 2019, and of course their first Christmas without the Queen.

As is their tradition, members of the family will accompany the King and Queen’s consort to church on Christmas morning.

Royal fans are expected to arrive early to see their arrival.

It is not yet known who will attend, but it is thought that Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, will be staying at the estate.

Read more about the royal family:
The Queen’s last Christmas message
Six moments that defined the Queen’s reign
Key reveals from Meghan and Harry’s Netflix show

The past few months have seen tumultuous changes for the royal family following the Queen’s passing.

It has been a challenging time for the King, facing the consequences of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentaryas well as accusations of racism within royal circles.

He hopes his Christmas broadcast will send a positive message as he plans his coronation next spring.

The Queen’s last Christmas speech

The Queen delivers her annual Christmas speech in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle
The Queen delivers her final annual Christmas Address in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, 2021

If he chose to focus on the loss of his mother, it would be a sombre reflection of the Queen’s last Christmas speech.

In 2021, the late Queen looking back on a year of personal grief in a moving message on Christmas Day, saying there was “one familiar smile missing” as she acknowledged her husband’s death amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sitting behind a desk adorned with a solitary photo of the Queen and Duke in 2007 to mark their 60th wedding anniversary, the monarch said: “Although it is a time of great happiness and cheerfulness for many, Christmas can be difficult for those who have lost loved ones.

“Especially this year, I understand why.”

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”.

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