Plenty of history. King Charles III is set to give his first Christmas speech as England’s monarch on Sunday, December 25, at the same site of his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s memorial service earlier this year.
“This year’s broadcast was filmed in St George’s Chapel in Windsor — a place which has unique Royal associations,” a statement shared via the royal family’s Twitter account read on Saturday, December 24. “Royal weddings and funerals have taken place here, most recently The Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II in September.”
The message continued: “The chapel is also a place of worship for the Royal Family and has hosted a number of Royal Maundy services at which special Maundy money is distributed to local pensioners to commemorate Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper.”
The late queen died in September at the age of 96. Following her state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey on September 19, Elizabeth’s casket was driven to Windsor Castle for an intimate committal service. Her Majesty’s coffin was lowered into the family crypt on the Windsor grounds alongside Prince Philip’s casket. (The Duke of Edinburgh died in April 2021 at the age of 99.)
During the September memorial, the 74-year-old king notably bowed to his mother’s coffin as it was lowered below into the King George VI Memorial Chapel. St George’s Chapel also hosted the royal weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as well as Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, both in 2018.
Charles, who succeeded his mother as the reigning sovereign after her death, is set to honor Her Majesty’s legacy throughout Sunday’s holiday. “It will be extremely sad not to have the queen there,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “[She] would not want them to mope or let that detract everyone from coming together and enjoying the occasion.”
The insider added: “They’ll share fond memories, raise glasses and likely make speeches about the wonderful life and legacy she’s left behind. There’s a shared commitment among the whole family to stay true to her values and carry on with the wonderful work she did during her time as monarch.”
Charles — who is likely to pay tribute to the queen in his Sunday speech — will also attend the family’s traditional Sandringham House church service on Christmas morning alongside wife Queen Consort Camilla, son Prince William and daughter-in-law Princess Kate. The royals had skipped the holiday walk and church service for the past two years amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The former Prince of Wales’ first Christmas address airs on the BBC and the royal family’s YouTube channel hours after the church service and follows the precedent set by his great-grandfather King George V, who delivered the first U.K. holiday broadcast in 1932. Elizabeth then followed in her late father’s tradition after she ascended the throne.
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