King Charles III will give his first Christmas Day address to the nation after lunch on Sunday and is expected to honour his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, who died on 8 September after a record 70 years and 214 days on the British throne.
Her Majesty had delivered every televised festive speech since the inaugural broadcast of 1957, before which her message had been carried on radio since 1932.
The last time a king gave the address, it was her father, King George VI, who stood behind the microphone to reflect on the events of 1951.
The King’s Speech, which was pre-recorded by His Majesty at Sandringham on 13 December, will be shown at 3pm on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV One and Sky One and last for 10 minutes.
It will also be available on the BBC iPlayer and ITVX catch-up services shortly after broadcast.
The Independent will cover King Charles’s words on the day and bring you the very latest updates and analysis.
Precisely what he will say, in what will be only his second televised address to the nation as monarch, is not known, although it is widely expected that he will pay tribute to his late mother, who used what proved to be her final Christmas speech last year to remember her beloved late husband Prince Philip, who died on 9 April 2021.
“I’m quite sure he’ll spend as much time talking about his mother as he does about everything else,” historian Jeremy Archer told OK! magazine.
“He’ll talk about how positive she was and how inclusive she was. It will be solemn and reflective, but it will show gratitude for her reign, her life and all the things she’s achieved.”
The celebrations marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis and a turbulent year for Westminster that brought three prime ministers and four chancellors could also provide fruitful topics for his remarks.