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International News: King Charles’ first Christmas speech reflects cost-of-living crisis

Posted: Sunday, December 25, 2022. 11:10 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: King Charles III delivered his first Christmas message to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth from St George’s Chapel, Windsor, reflecting on the cost of living crisis and thanking those who have been trying to help, the BBC reports.

He spoke of the “great anxiety and hardship” for those struggling to “pay their bills and keep their families fed and warm,” accompanied by images of food banks and help for the homeless.

The King also paid tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, buried in the chapel and who pioneered the televised royal Christmas Day address, which has only ever been delivered by three people in history since it began 90 years ago.

The themes of the King’s speech touched on some of his causes and beliefs – concern for the disadvantaged, the importance of public service and supporting a multi-faith approach to religion. Only “working royals” appeared on screen in the King’s broadcast, including the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal; left out were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and The Duke of York (Prince Andrew).

The King said he wanted to focus on supporting people in need: “I particularly want to pay tribute to all those wonderfully kind people who so generously give food or donations, or that most precious commodity of all, their time, to support those around them in greatest need…” He also praised the emergency services who “worked tirelessly to keep us all safe”, teachers and health and social care staff.

Buckingham Palace has said funds donated after the death of the late Queen were being given to a charity helping those unable to pay energy bills.

The King has gathered with other senior royals at Sandringham, Norfolk, for Christmas, and earlier attended the traditional Christmas Day service for the first time as monarch.

In terms of changes in style, the King delivered his first message standing up, rather than a formal address from behind a desk, and his themes addressed more current social issues. But there was much that was traditional. This was a Christmas Day message delivered in a chapel with a choir singing, touching on themes of faith, hope and the importance of serving others. The choir finished, as it had last year for the Queen’s last message, singing the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem, with the King highlighting its message of “light overcoming darkness”.


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