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What time is the King's Christmas message? TV channel and what Charles will say

For the first time since 1951, the monarch's annual Christmas message will not be delivered by Queen Elizabeth II.

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Charles has recorded his first Christmas broadcast as King. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

King Charles III's first festive broadcast will be aired on December 25, continuing a tradition which is now 90 years old.

It was 1932 that King George V's Christmas Day message was broadcast live from Sandringham, reading a speech that was written by Rudyard Kipling.

Back then His Majesty celebrated the power of the wireless to unite all the people of the Empire, and wished them a Happy Christmas. "Through one of the marvels of modern Science, I am enabled, this Christmas Day, to speak to all my peoples throughout the Empire," was his opening line.

Since then the speech has changed slightly, and is no longer recorded live.

The Queen's first Christmas message to be televised was in 1957

While Charles becomes the fourth British monarch to deliver a Christmas message, he will become the first King to have his televised. It wasn't until 1957 that the first festive message was shown on TV, five years into the reign of Elizabeth II.

All previous messages by King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II between 1932 and 1956 were broadcast by radio only. King Edward VIII never read a Christmas message as he abdicated in mid-December 1936, 11 months after ascending the throne. No Christmas message was delivered that year, nor two years later in 1938.

What time is the King's Christmas message?

The time remains the same: 3pm.

Ever since the first Christmas message in 1932, the monarch's speech has been aired at that time. Back then, it was decided that was the best time to ensure the broadcast was heard in the most countries across the Empire.

What channel is the King's Christmas message?

Again, it's the usual places to find it with BBC One and ITV1 both broadcasting the speech.

What will King Charles III say?

Charles is expected to pay tribute to his mother during his first Christmas message to the nation, which was filmed at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on December 13.

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, and during the broadcast the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor performs the National Anthem and sings a carol.

In the background is a large Christmas tree 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 voiced concerns about the threat to the environment and worked to bring governments, and the private and public sector together to find solutions to the climate change crisis.

The picture also shows foliage decorations that have been placed among the stalls in the quire, that feature 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.

What was in the Queen's last Christmas message?

The Queen recorded her final Christmas broadcast at Windsor Castle in 2021

In what turned out to be her final Christmas message, the Queen paid tribute to her husband Prince Philip during last year's broadcast after his death earlier in the year.

Her Majesty wore a chrysanthemum brooch that she also sported during her honeymoon in 1947 at Broadlands country house, Hampshire. She also sat next to a framed picture of her and Philip.

She empathised with those grieving for loved ones, saying: "This year especially I understand why."

The monarch, in what is likely to be regarded as her most fulsome public tribute to her “beloved Philip” since he died, remarked how his “mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him”, as she empathised with families who had lost loved ones this year.

She also spoke fondly of her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for their focus on climate change.

Her speech was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle as Covid again scuppered plans for the traditional Royal Family get-together at Sandringham.

“While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions," she continued.

“I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children. It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story.

“Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all.

“Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.

“And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.”

The Queen, then 95, also hinted at the prospect of reuniting with loved ones in the new year.

She said: “February, just six weeks from now, will see the start of my Platinum Jubilee year, which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness … and also to look ahead with confidence.”

The Queen concluded: “I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”