Although only 10 minutes in length, The Queen’s Message is one of the most watched shows of Christmas day, with 7.6 million people in the UK tuning in last year.
Now a British broadcasting tradition for over 80 years, the prerecorded message from monarch Queen Elizabeth II will be broadcast to the nation and all 52 members countries of the commonwealth this Christmas.
The speech, officially called The Queen’s Christmas Message, will be aired 3pm Christmas Day on BBC1, ITV, Sky1 and Sky News.
You can catch the speech again shortly after broadcast on BBC iPlayer.
Can I listen to it on the radio?
Yes, you can listen live at 3pm on Radio 4.
What will the Queen talk about this year?
As the speech usually looks back at the biggest events of the past 12 months, it’s likely she’ll give a mention to Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle in May 2018 and the birth of Prince Louis in April.
There’s also a chance The Queen could mention Prince William becoming the first member of the royal family to travel to Israel on official business, Princess Eugenie’s marriage to Jack Brooksbank, Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday, Meghan’s pregnancy and major news events such as Brexit.
When was the first ever Queen’s Speech?
The tradition began in 1932 under King George V as a radio broadcast, and Queen Elizabeth II has delivered the speech most years since 1952.
The first fully televised Queen’s Christmas Broadcast took place in 1957. You can watch the footage below.
Who writes the Queen’s speech?
The Queen writes her own Christmas speeches, and according to the BBC is one of the few occasions where she does not seek government advice and is free to voice her own thoughts.
What is the Alternative Christmas message?
Since 1993, Channel 4 has broadcast an ‘alternative Christmas message’ which has previously featured whistle-blower Edward Snowden, 9/11 survivor Genelle Guzman and Quentin Crisp.
Last year five children who survived the Grenfell Tower fire delivered the alternative broadcast, reflecting on how the tragedy had impacted.
It’s not yet been confirmed who will deliver the speech, but we know it’ll air 3.50pm, Christmas Day on C4.
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