In his first Christmas broadcast as monarch on Sunday, King Charles of Great Britain paid a sincere tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.
The new King spoke in a prerecorded address from St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the Queen and her husband Prince Philip were laid to rest. He thanked the general public for their love and support following her death in September.
“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,” 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.”
Throughout his speech, King Charles paid tribute to the Queen’s legacy by remembering her belief in the power of “everlasting light” and her belief that people can change the lives of others.
“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. It is a belief in the extraordinary ability of each person to touch, with goodness and compassion, the lives of others, and to shine a light in the world around them,” he said.
“This is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society.”
Sunday’s message denotes England’s most memorable yearly Christmas Day broadcast not delivered by the Queen since her most memorable message in 1957. She talked about “passing the baton” to the next generation in her final Christmas speech last year.
King Charles also made an indirect reference to the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis. He described a time of “anxiety” and “hardship” when people all over the world were facing conflict and had trouble paying their bills and “keeping their families fed and warm.”
The King’s speech continues a 90-year tradition of the royal family and comes just days after the Bank of England released the first images of the new monarch’s British banknotes.
The portrait of King Charles will be on £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes. The remainder of the design, which currently features the late Queen Elizabeth on the front, will remain unchanged.