King Charles pays emotional tribute to the Queen in Christmas Day speech
| Last updated
King Charles III has delivered his first Christmas speech as monarch and he paid tribute to the legacy of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The King recorded his festive message in St George's Chapel, Windsor, which hosted a committal service during the Queen's funeral earlier this year and is her final resting place.
In the Queen's final Christmas message she spoke of 'passing the baton' to the next generation and Charles in turn has used his first to praise her after a reign of more than 70 years on the throne.
He opened with words of gratitude for the 'deeply touching letters, cards and messages' they had received since her death, and for the 'love and sympathy you have shown our whole family'.
He said: "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."
The King then went on to pay tribute to the 'selfless dedication' of the armed forces and emergency services, noting in particular the work they had done during the Queen's funeral service.
Earlier this year, Charles used his first official speech as King to pay tribute to his mother, calling her 'an inspiration and example to me and to all my family' and thanking his 'darling mama' for all the 'love and devotion to our family'.
In addition to 2022 being the year of his first Christmas speech, it was also the first time Charles delivered the monarch's address to parliament, standing in for his mother after the Queen was unable to attend for medical reasons.
The monarch's broadcast to the nation is one of the most popular TV events in the UK at Christmas, drawing in millions of viewers.
The tradition began 90 years ago when King Charles III's great grandfather King George V delivered a speech penned by Rudyard Kipling on the radio in 1932.
Twenty years later, Queen Elizabeth was making her first speech as head of state following the death of her father King George VI, and five years after that the Queen's speech became a regular TV fixture in the Christmas calendar.
While TV was the new medium back in 1957, in recent years people have been able to watch the speech on YouTube and listen to it as a podcast.