When one does a televised speech, should one be expected to watch it?
Her Majesty certainly thinks so. It seems that watching the Queen‘s speech is very much part of the Royal Family’s on Christmas Day at 3pm, much like the rest of the nation.
But they don’t all sit down and watch it together. Instead, Prince Andrew revealed in 2007 that the Queen, his mother, occasionally leaves the room to watch her speech by herself.
Not for fear of critique, though. Apparently, it’s because the 91-year-old monarch likes to ensure her speech has given the right message.
“I do remember that sometimes the Queen watches it and sometimes sits in another room thinking ‘Has it come across in the right way?’ But it’s always been a part of the family tradition,” Prince Andrew told ITV‘s ‘Lights! Camera! The Queen’ programme.
“As children, we were always encouraged after lunch to behave ourselves and wait for the Queen’s message, because lunch would usually finish within 10 or 15 minutes of quarter to three, and three o’clock is the time we all sit down and watch it.”
The Queen has been doing a Christmas speech since 1952. In 1957, it was televised for the very first time and used to be live. She began pre-recording the message in 1960 and continues to do that today with each speech reflecting current issues and the Queen’s personal viewpoint.
1969 was the only year the Queen did not do a speech. Instead, she published a written message, believing that the nation had seen enough of the Royal Family on TV due to a documentary being aired a short while before Christmas.
The first ever Christmas speech by a monarch took place in 1932. The Queen’s father, King George V, read out a poem by Rudyard Kipling after being suggested the idea by the founder of the BBC, Sir John Reith.
The time of 3pm was chosen so that most of the countries in the British Empire would be able to listen.
Prince Andrew also explained why the Queen’s speech is so important to Her Majesty: “The Christmas message reflects not just her opinions but what has happened in the year and how we can bring ourselves together as a family – and we’re a family of a huge number of different cultures, races, creeds – how we can bring that family, as part of the United Kingdom, together.”
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