July 14, 2024


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Britain's King Charles delivers an environmentally themed Christmas message alongside a live tree

LONDON – King Charles III's annual ceremonial address saw the British monarch appear next to a replantable tree decorated with dried oranges as he delivered a message recognizing a “growing awareness” of the need to protect the planet.

The Queen's Christmas message has long been a constant in Britain, such as wearing silly Christmas jumpers or colorful paper hats.

The speeches were non-controversial, and this year's was no exception. But it's also one of the few times the monarch has given a speech he's written himself, without guidance from the government, meaning royal watchers are paying close attention. This title is usually watched by millions in Britain and the Commonwealth countries.

Like his mother Queen Elizabeth II during her long reign, Charles used his speech to reference current affairs, Christian faith and his reflections on the year of his coronation. This is Charles' second Christmas speech since he ascended to the throne in 2022.

The King touched on an issue dear to his heart, which is the environment. Charles is a conservationist known for his strong views on climate change. But during his first year as king, he kept much of his advocacy efforts under control. While he admitted he can't speak publicly the way he once did, Charles has shown this year that the environment is still a topic he cares deeply about.

In 2023, he addressed world leaders at Cop28 – the United Nations climate change conference – visited environmentally themed projects on a state visit to France, and launched a food waste project on his 75th birthday.

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He also made sustainability a key point in his Christmas message and broadcast background.

“Throughout my lifetime, I have been very pleased to see the growing awareness of how to protect the Earth and our natural world as the only habitat we all share,” Charles said.

“I find great inspiration now in the way so many people recognize this – as does the Christmas story, which tells us that angels first brought the message of hope to shepherds. These were people who simply lived among God’s other creatures. Those close to nature were lucky,” he said. in that night.

In the video, Charles is seen standing next to a live Christmas tree which journalists were told would be replanted after the broadcast. Decorations included dried oranges, pine cones, and paper.

In a carefully worded section, he also addressed what he described as “conflict around the world,” although he refrained from naming specific countries.

“At a time of increasing tragic conflict around the world, I pray that we too can do everything we can to protect each other,” he said. “Jesus’ words seem more relevant than ever: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ These values ​​are universal, bringing together the family of Abrahamic faiths and other belief systems throughout the Commonwealth and the wider world.

The speech was pre-recorded from a room in London's Buckingham Palace that leads to the balcony where the royal family gathers on important occasions to wave to their subjects, as they did during the coronation of Charles and Camilla earlier this year.

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The king referred to the coronation. “My wife and I were thrilled when hundreds of representatives of this dedicated army of people – volunteers who serve their communities in so many ways and with such distinction – were able to join us at Westminster Abbey for the coronation earlier this year.”

He described volunteers as “an essential backbone of our community.”

Unlike Elizabeth, Charles did not surround himself with family photographs. In previous years, the pictures shown have To be noticed Who is included – and who is not.

Charles and Camilla were not at Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day. They were at their home in Sandringham where they attended a traditional Christmas Day church service. The king's brother, Prince Andrew, joined the royal family at the church service, as did his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

They were joined by several other members of the Windsor family, including William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and their three children.