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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amber O'Connor

What to expect from the King's first Christmas Day speech - timings and how to watch

King Charles' first Christmas day speech as monarch is nearly here at last. Anticipation has been mounting ahead of the broadcast, as royal fans and critics alike wait to hear how he will reflect on a monumental year.

The first Christmas since the death of Queen Elizabeth II just three months ago, it is sure to be a sombre occasion. But the King is also expected to celebrate the Queen's life and her many happy achievements, as he did in his first speech as monarch.

Ever since the first festive address of this kind was delivered in 1932, the annual tradition has become a key event for families across the country, who gather together to remind themselves of what has come and what to look forward to in the next year.

Here's what you can expect from the 2022 speech, plus how and where to watch it.

King Charles will make his first Christmas address (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What time is the King's speech?

King Charles' inaugural festive broadcast is set to air on Sunday, December 25.

The speech is due to be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas day in keeping with tradition.

It will be shown on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, and Sky News. On BBC One, the broadcast will be followed by a screening of the 2019 live action version of Disney's Aladdin. Meanwhile, Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow will follow the broadcast on ITV.

Millions tuned in to watch the Queen's speech every year (PA)

What to expect

The theme of the speech has not been confirmed but it is expected the King will pay tribute to the late Queen, following her death in September.

As to whether the King will make a nod to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in his first speech, there has been much speculation in recent days but no clear answers from conflicting sources.

It is possible he may, if he follows the example set in his first address to the nation when he acceded to the throne, during which he expressed his love for the couple "as they continue to build their lives overseas".

Filmed on Tuesday, December 13, before the release of the final instalment of Harry and Meghan's docuseries, we do know what it is not likely to reference, however.

The speech will be the first time a King has delivered the speech in nearly 70 years (PA)

How many people will watch the King's speech?

Millions of Brits are expected to watch the King's speech on Christmas Day. A recent poll of 2,000 adults found more than a quarter (26%) of people plan to watch the address on the day it is broadcast. Meanwhile, a different survey by YouGov suggests 38% will watch the speech, based on the responses of 3,338 Brits.

The Queen's speech in 2020 was crowned the most viewed programme of the day after 8.2 million people turned in. Meanwhile, the 2021 version brought in a staggering 9.1 million viewers - again securing the top spot.

What will be different this year?

King Charles has been pictured recording this year's speech in St George's Chapel, Windsor. Buckingham Palace normally serves as the backdrop, but this year he chose to broadcast the message from Windsor Castle, just yards away from where his mother was laid to rest.

This year will be the first King's Christmas speech in almost 70 years, as well as the first time a King has delivered the address on TV. While Queen Elizabeth II was a regular sight on screens at Christmas, her own father, King George VI, delivered his speeches over the radio.

The occasion marks King Charles' second address to the nation, following his first heartfelt speech after his mother's death.

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