A photo of the King has been released as he recorded his first-ever Christmas message, which is expected to pay tribute to the Queen.
The message, which was recorded on 13 December and will be broadcast on Christmas Day, was poignantly filmed inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the Queen was laid to rest.
In a nod to his long-held commitment to the environment, the King is pictured standing in front of a large Christmas tree, decorated with pine cones and sustainable ornaments made of paper and glass.
It is a change of scene from the messages recorded by the Queen, where she would traditionally be seated and surrounded by photos of her family.
No photos for the King this year, but there are floral arrangements in the background using English foliage of holly, ivy, and red skimmia.
Buckingham Palace confirmed this year’s Christmas carol and the National Anthem will be performed by the choir of St George’s Chapel.
The monarch’s Christmas broadcast is a long-standing tradition and is shown across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
It is another significant milestone for the King.
The royal’s first Christmas without the Queen
He is currently staying at Sandringham, his Norfolk estate, where he will be joined by members of the Royal Family to celebrate Christmas.
It is the first time the family has gathered here since 2019, and of course, their first Christmas without the Queen.
As is their tradition, members of the family will accompany the King and Queen Consort to church on Christmas morning.
Royal fans are expected to arrive early to watch their arrival.
It’s not yet known who will attend but it’s thought Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, will be staying on the estate.
The last few months have seen tumultuous change for the Royal Family following the death of the Queen.
It has been a challenging time for the King, facing the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, as well as accusations of racism within inner royal circles.
He will hope his Christmas broadcast will send a positive message, as he plans his coronation next Spring.
The Queen’s last Christmas address
Should he choose to focus on the loss of his mother, it would be a somber reflection of the Queen’s last Christmas Day address.
In 2021, the late Queen reflected on a year of personal grief in a moving Christmas Day message, saying there was “one familiar laugh missing” as she acknowledged the death of her husband amid the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sat behind a desk adorned with a solitary photograph of the Queen and the duke in 2007 to mark their 60th wedding anniversary, the monarch said: “Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones.
“This year, especially, I understand why.”
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 was 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”.
Source : BBC News