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Kristy Dawson

King Charles III makes emotional reference to his 'beloved' mother during first Christmas Day speech

King Charles III has used his first Christmas Day speech to thank the public for their love and sympathy following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in September this year. The 96-year-old was on the throne for more than 70 years and is Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

Following her death, the eldest of her four children - Prince Charles - became King. His first ever Christmas Day broadcast was aired to the nation at 3pm on December 25.

Read more: King Charles uses first Christmas Day speech to sympathise with families during cost-of-living crisis

He began the ten minute speech by making an emotional reference to the Queen. He paid tribute to his "beloved" mother and thanked those who have supported the Royal Family following her death.

King Charles III during the recording of his first Christmas broadcast (PA)

King Charles III said: "I'm standing here in this exquisite chapel of St George at Windsor Castle, to close to where by beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father.

"I'm reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself and I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.

"Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us that have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition."

It is the first time a King has delivered a Christmas Day speech on television.

The last time a King delivered a speech on December 25 was over the radio in 1951. The first televised message wasn't broadcast live until 1957.

The broadcast has taken place every year since 1932 and is an intrinsic part of Christmas Day festivities. The first one was delivered by the late Queen's grandfather George V.

King Charles and the Queen Consort are celebrating Christmas with his family at Sandringham. It has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs for more than 160 years, and now belongs to the King.

The broadcast was recorded earlier this month at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. It is now available to watch on iPlayer and ITVX.

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