Will there be a King's Speech on Christmas Day this year?

King Charles III looks at flowers outside Buckingham Palace, London after travelling from Balmoral following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
King Charles III looks at flowers outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (PA) (PA)

King Charles III is succeeding his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as monarch - but will he step into one of the role's most notable engagements, the Christmas Day address?

Here's all you need to know about the 2022 Christmas Day speech and the history of it in previous years.

Will there be a King's Speech on Christmas Day 2022?

The 90-year-old tradition is expected to continue as usual this year, with the King addressing the nation in his first Christmas message.

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A Christmas Day tradition in many households, the Royal Christmas Message broadcasts on TV, radio and online at 3pm on Christmas Day, 25 December each year.

From 1997, the message's TV broadcast was rotated each year between the BBC and ITV, and from 2011 Sky was added to the rotation.

When will the King make his first public address?

King Charles III and the Queen view tributes left outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
King Charles III and the Queen view tributes left outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (PA) (PA)

Charles is now King after the death of his mother, the Queen, on Thursday, 8 September.

He will officially be proclaimed King Charles III on Saturday, with his coronation still awaiting a date at some point in the coming months.

We will first hear from the King in his new role on Friday, 9 September when he is due to make a King's Address which will be aired at 6pm.

It will last around five minutes and be immediately followed by a service of thanksgiving for the Queen.

What did the Queen say in her last Christmas Day speech?

Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Issue date: Saturday December 25, 2021.
Queen Elizabeth II recorded her final Christmas broadcast in 2021. (PA) (PA)

The 2021 Christmas message was the last to be made by the Queen, who paid tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, after his death in April 2021.

She said there was "one familiar laugh missing" following the loss of her husband and long-serving consort, and told viewers: "His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.

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"That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.

"But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.

"And as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas."

Watch: The Queen's Christmas message

The Queen also acknowledged the impact of the COVID pandemic, which forced her to celebrate Christmas at Windsor rather than Sandringham.

She said: "While COVID again means we can't celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions."

The monarch looked ahead to the Platinum Jubilee marking her 70-year reign, calling it "an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness".

When did the monarch's Christmas Day speech tradition begin?

File photo dated December 1957 of Queen Elizabeth II seated at her desk in the Long Library at Sandringham for the traditional Christmas Day broadcast which was televised that year for the first time and carried by both the BBC and ITV. The Queen's life was steeped in tradition, but she kept up with the vast technological advances that occurred during her reign. She saw the advent of popular colour television, mobile phones, the internet and social media and held audiences and meetings over video conference. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II at the first ever televised Christmas Day message in 1957. (PA) (PA)

King George V, the Queen's grandfather, made the first Christmas message in 1932 which had been written for him by Rudyard Kipling.

No address was made in 1936 as King Edward VIII had abdicated just two weeks beforehand, or in 1938 as the message was not fully cemented as a tradition until the following year, after the outbreak of World War II.

King George VI made his last Christmas speech in 1951 and was then succeeded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, who wrote her own festive address each year.

File photo dated 25/12/2014 of Queen Elizabeth II standing in the State Dining Room of Buckingham Palace, London, after recording her Christmas Day television broadcast to the Commonwealth. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
The Queen's Christmas message in 2014. (PA) (PA)

The first Christmas message to be included on TV was in 1955 although it was a sound-only broadcast, and in 1957 it was fully televised for the first time.

In 1958, viewers saw their final live broadcast of the speech and from 1959 onwards the message was pre-recorded, meaning it could also be broadcast in Australia and New Zealand on Christmas Day.

The Royal Family has apparently joined in the tradition of sitting down to watch the speech together as part of their Christmas Day celebrations.

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