King Charles Makes History with First-Ever Christmas Address and Pays Tribute to Late Mother

Queen Elizabeth changed the game in her early years as monarch by becoming the first sovereign to deliver a Christmas speech on TV. Now, King Charles III is continuing his late mother's tradition, and early this morning, he made his first Christmas address since ascending to the throne.

Prior to the event, a palace staffer told People that the king “[felt] the pressure to get it right,” given that this is one of his first major publicized moments as monarch. However, in a thoughtful (and festive) broadcast, King Charles knocked it out of the park.

King Charles III.
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

His Royal Majesty used the opportunity to pay tribute to his late mother, as he said “I'm standing here in this exquisite chapel of St. George at Windsor Castle, so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father.” He also thanked royal followers for their condolences in the past year, adding, “I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself. And I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.”

King Charles continued: “Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition. In the much loved carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ we sing of how, ‘In thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light.’ My mother's belief in the power of that light was an essential part of her faith in God, but also her faith in people, and it is one which I share with my whole heart.”

In the rest of his speech, the monarch highlighted the “goodness and compassion” of people, taking the moment to thank service workers, public servants and those who donate their time to help others. He closed his message by saying, “With all my heart, I wish each of you a Christmas of peace, happiness and everlasting light.”

King Charles pre-recorded his speech on December 13 at Sandringham House, the estate which was passed to him following his mother's death this past September.

Sandringham was where Queen Elizabeth broadcast her first-ever televised Christmas address all the way back in 1957. She never missed a year of doing these addresses.

The last time a king gave the Christmas speech was in 1951, when Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, presented it.

Queen Elizabeth gives Christmas address in 2019.
Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Quite wonderfully said, King Charles. We think Queen Elizabeth would be proud.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...