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Queen's Christmas Speech


The Queen's Television and Radio Christmas Message and Speech History and Trivia


Queens Christmas Speech Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II made the first televised speech to Britain in 1957 from a study at Sandringham House. She sat at the same desk on the same chair as her father, King George VI, and his father King George V, had sat at to broadcast their radio speeches. Her first radio speech was in 1952.





Since 1932 the Monarch has broadcast to the UK Nation and Commonwealth Countries. The first was King George V who broadcasted on the radio, though it would have been more popularly known as the wireless. King George V read the words of poet Rudyard Kipling when he said:

"I speak to you now from my home and from my heart to you all, to all my peoples throughout the Empire."



Queens Christmas Message


The TV tradition continues each year, on Christmas Day at 3 pm. She always includes a message to her armed forces and highlights the events of the year. For 2006 the Queen broadcast a separate Queen's speech to her armed forces on Christmas Eve because of their exceptional year of duty in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where over 60 British troops had died in active service.






The 25th December speeches used to be broadcasted live until 1960 when they were thereafter pre recorded.





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This annual address to the UK and Commonwealth countries is personally written by the Queen and she draws on religious and moral reflections with touches of her own experiences. The Queen's Christmas message is one of the few speeches that is not written for or partly written by the Government.


King Edward VIII never had the chance to broadcast or record a Christmas speech because he abdicated on the 10th December 1936. He abdicated because he fell in love with married woman Wallace Simpson. After her divorce, they married and he was made the Duke of Windsor.



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In 1969 there was no Queen's Christmas message on Christmas Day. There had been a documentary in television called Royal Family by director Richard Cawston. The Queen felt there had been enough Royal Family exposure on TV that year. Instead the BBC repeated one of the documentary episodes. As well as the Queen it featured Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.

There was also no Queen's Christmas speech in 1959 because Her Majesty was carrying her third child, Prince Andrew. It was thought that it was not appropriate to show a pregnant Queen during the Christmas day message. Instead there was a pre-recorded radio message.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the Queen allowed clips of her family to be shown and Prince Charles made his first television appearance in 1961 on the Queen’s Christmas message.

The first Queen’s Christmas speech to be broadcast in colour was on the 25 December 1967. The Queen wore a beautiful yellow outfit.


In 1997 the BBC lost the monopoly to be the only channel to broadcast the Queen's Christmas Speech and Message. ITV broadcasted it for the first time on channel 3. It was produced by Independent Television News.






The first Queen's speech to be broadcast on the Internet was in 1998.






2006 saw the first time that the broadcast of the Queen's Christmas Speech was released to download as a podcast.


Christmas Day 2007 marked the first time that the Queens speech and the Queens Christmas message was placed on the website YouTube. The 25 December 07 also marked the second time that the Queen’s speech was available as a podcast. The Queens Speech on YouTube was released at the same time as the televised broadcast of the Queens Speech.

The Queens speech on You Tube is on a special Royal Channel at the url www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel where there is also archived Queens speeches and clips of the Royal Family.


Alternative Christmas Speech


Channel 4 have been broadcasting an alternative Christmas Message to the Queens Christmas message each year since 1993. The first one was presented by Quentin Crisp and has a new guest presenter each year. These have included Jamie Oliver, Sharon Osbourne, Ali G and even Marge Simpson from The Simpsons cartoon series!

The 2006 Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4 was a yuletide address by Khadija, a British Muslim woman who has been wearing the niqab veil for a decade. It was broadcast at 3pm.

The 2007 Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4 was devoted to the Armed Forces and how serving in Iraq and Afghanistan has affected soldiers and their families.

The 2008 alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4 was delivered by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran.


The Queen reads from an autocue and does the broadcast in one take.

The Queen ends each Christmas broadcast by wishing everyone a Merry Day.

Viewing figures still remain high for the Queen's Christmas Speech - over 9 million on 25 December 2005.

More Christmas trivia questions.


Queens Christmas Message

The Queen's Christmas speech for Xmas 2007 started with the first Queen's speech broadcast from 1957 before cutting to the Queen in 2007 watching her Christmas day message clips on a flat screen TV. The Queen then talked about caring for the vulnerable and those excluded from society and thanking the troops for their work in the Armed Forces, especially the sacrifice of those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2007 Queens Christmas message was filmed from the 1844 room at Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty wore an apricot coloured dress.


Lights! Camera! The Queen!

After the 2007 Christmas message from Her Majesty The Queen ITV broadcast a program called Lights! Camera! The Queen! to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen's Christmas message where famous people, newspaper editors and journalists talked about fifty years of the Queen's Christmas speech. These included the newsreader Sir Trevor Macdonald and former Sun newspaper editor Kelvin MacKenzie. Lights Camera The Queen was narrated by the actress Barbara Flynn.

Clips from Lights! Camera! The Queen! included highlights of previous Christmas messages from which ITV had exclusive access to 50 years of Queen’s speeches recordings.

Celebrities who recalled their memories of the Queen’s speeches included TV celebrity and lifestyle guru Linda Barker who gave her opinion on the Queen’s fashion over the decades.

His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, gave a rare TV interview where he talked about what his mother’s speech means to the Royal household. HRH The Duke of York also described how the Royal family spend their day on Christmas.

Clips from the Queen’s Christmas speeches included key times in the life of the Monarch Queen Elizabeth II such as the Falklands War, the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday celebrations, the year of the Windsor fire, the break ups of her son’s marriages and the death of Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales.



Queens Christmas Message

The Queens Christmas Message for 2008 was broadcast on Christmas Day at 3pm on BBC1 and was released onto The Royal Family You Tube site and available as a pod cast at the same time. The Queens Christmas message was also broadcast at 3pm on December 25 on BBC Radio 4. The main themes of the 2008 Queens Christmas Message was a tribute to her servicemen and service women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ailing economy and the bravery of people.

The 2008 Queens Christmas Message was filmed in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace where she stood in front of the Grand Piano which had family photos on top. A large Christmas tree was in the background. Clips of birthday and Christening celebrations of Prince Charles was shown to celebrate his 60th birthday. This included clips of Princess Elizabeth playing with Prince Charles when he was aged one year at Clarence House in 1949.

A photo or Prince Harry and Prince William in their military uniform was on display on the piano and a clip of HRH Prince Charles with Prince William at RAF Cranwell College was shown.



The 2009 Queen's Christmas speech paid tribute to the servicemen and women of Britain, especially those serving in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.

The Queen went on to urge the Commonwealth to work together on important issues such as the environment and commended the young people of the Commonwealth during the 60th anniversary. She also talked about the economic downturn.

The Queen's Christmas message was broadcast on the TV channels BBC and ITV and on the Royal Channel on You Tube. It was also broadcast on BFBS and radio.


Katie Piper Christmas Message


The Alternative Christmas Message 2009 was from Katie Piper the model who was attacked with acid. It described how her family have helped her and how positive she fees. Katie Piper also read some of her letters and e-mails of support since the broadcast of her documentary My Beautiful Face.


Monarch’s Annual Broadcast

The 2010 Monarch’s Annual Broadcast was filmed at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, rather than the traditional location of Buckingham Palace, at the suggestion of Her Majesty the Queen.

The theme of the 2010 Monarch’s Annual Broadcast was the first publication of the King James Bible and how it unified England and Scotland. The Queen’s speech then talked about how sport and exercise can unite communities and create harmony. Clips of Princess Anne at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Prince William and Prince Harry at Lesotho playing football, injured servicemen playing golf at Windsor Castle with Prince Andrew and Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall at the Paralympic Games were shown during the Queen’s speech 2010.

The Monarch’s Annual Broadcast 2010 was ended with the Chapel Royal Hampton Court Palace choir singing the Holly and the Ivy.

The Queen’s Speech for 2011 was the first time that the Queen’s Speech was available for the Kindle e-book reader. Her Majesty spoke about the importance of family, friends and community, of her State Visit to Australia after their floods, the two royal weddings of her grand-children and the 90th birthday of her husband Prince Phillip.

The Alternative Christmas Message 2011 on Channel 4 was Drew Goddard the headmaster and his deputy from Educating Essex.


The Queens Christmas Address


The 2012 Queens Christmas address was broadcast in £D for the first time on Sky with normal transmission on BBC and ITV. The British para orchestra played God Save The Queen at the Buckingham Palace Ballroom. Her Majesty talked about the year of celebration including her Diamond Jubilee and the strength, fellowship and friendship of the 2012 London Olympics. During this Queen Christmas peech she paid tribute to the army of volunteers who made both events such a success. The carol In The Bleak Winter was sung by The Military Wives.


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