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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Josh Salisbury

Photograph released of King Charles’ historic first Christmas speech

The King is expected to pay tribute to the late Queen in his first Christmas message to the nation.

An image of Charles taken during the recording of his inaugural festive address has been released ahead of the broadcast on Christmas Day.

He is pictured standing while delivering his speech. Although the Queen had recorded her annual Christmas broadcast at a desk in later years, she had also previously stood in decades past.

The message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, which has a strong association with the late Queen Elizabeth.

Her committal service was held there and she was laid to rest in the George VI Memorial Chapel, within St George’s, with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

The late Queen had usually recorded her broadcasts from Buckingham Palace, but Christmas messages were also broadcast from Windsor and Sandringham.

Charles previously spoke movingly about his “beloved mother", who reigned for 70 years, in his first broadcast as King screened the day after her death on September 8.

In that address he said: “We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example."

The Christmas message was recorded in the Quire of St George’s, where the royal family sat during the Queen’s committal service.

The chapel’s choir also performs the National Anthem and sings a carol during the broadcast.

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 his concerns over environmental threats.

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

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.

The broadcast was produced by BBC Studios Events, ahead of ITV whose turn it had been to record the King’s first festive address under a rotating producer system between the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the decision was taken as the BBC had “experience of shooting in St George’s Chapel this year”.

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