Speeches are controversial – this year is no exception. But this is one of those speeches that the king writes on his own, without government guidance, to be closely watched by court watchers. This address is viewed by millions in Britain and Commonwealth countries in general.
Charles, as his mother Elizabeth II did during her long reign, used his speech to address current affairs, the Christian faith and his reflections on the coronation year. This will be Charles' second Christmas speech since he ascends the throne in 2022.
Raja touched on an issue close to his heart – the environment. Charles is a popular conservationist, known for his strong views on climate change. But in his first year as king, he kept his argument under control. Although he admits he may not be as vocal as he once was, this year Charles has shown the environment to be an issue he still deeply cares about.
In 2023, Cop28 – addressing world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference – visited environmentally-themed projects during a state visit to France, and launched a food waste project on his 75th birthday.
He made sustainability a key aspect of his Christmas message and broadcast.
“In my lifetime, I've been very happy to see an awareness of how to protect the Earth and our natural world as the one home we all share,” said Charles.
“I now find great inspiration in the way many people recognize this – as in the Christmas story, which tells us that the angels first brought the message of faith to the shepherds. These people lived simply among God's other creatures. Those who were close to nature were blessed that night,” he said.
In the video, Charles was seen standing next to a live Christmas tree, which journalists were told would be replanted after the broadcast. Decorations include dried oranges, pine cones and paper.
In a carefully worded piece, he described a “global conflict,” though he avoided naming specific countries.
“At a time of increasingly tragic conflicts around the world, I pray that we can do all we can to protect each other,” he said. “Jesus' words seem more relevant than ever: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' Such values are universal, binding together our Abrahamic religious families and other faith systems across the Commonwealth and the wider world.
The speech was pre-recorded from a room in London's Buckingham Palace, just as it was during Charles and Camilla's coronation earlier this year.
The king referred to the coronation ceremony. “My wife and I were delighted that hundreds of representatives of that force of selfless people – volunteers who serve their communities in so many ways – joined us at the Coronation in Westminster Abbey earlier this year.”
He called volunteers, “the essential backbone of our community.”
Unlike Elizabeth, Charles did not surround himself with family photographs. In previous years, there are photographs on display Attracted attention Who is — and isn't — included.
Charles and Camilla were not at Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day. They were at Sandringham Gardens where they attended a traditional Christmas Day church service. The king's disgraced brother, Prince Andrew, joined the royal family at the church service, as did his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
They were joined by several members of the House of Windsor, including William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and their three children.