The Real Reason Why Royal Family Won't Tune In to Watch the King's Speech, Expert Claims
Out with the old, in with the new.
For many British people, including the Royal Family, tuning in to watch the Queen's annual speech, either on radio or television, has been a traditional part of Christmas Day celebrations for decades. But with King Charles III now the head of the monarchy, there will be some changes this holiday season. According to royal author Jennie Bond, the family will be breaking with tradition and will not be tuning in to hear the King's speech.
With Queen Elizabeth II no longer presiding over the Christmas and New Year celebrations, it's a chance for the new, streamlined monarchy to reinvent themselves. Read more to learn how they will be celebrating—and to explore the secrets of the Royal Family, don't miss these Biggest Royal Romance Scandals of All Time.
This is the first Christmas without Queen Elizabeth, and according to Bond, the family will be missing the one person who always hosted a special, invitation-only party during the holidays. "It will be full of nostalgia and some good measure of sadness," Bond says.
"There's going to be that empty place where the Queen sat. I presume Charles will not sit there unless they choose to leave it empty."
What will remain the same is Christmas in Norfolk at Sandringham, close to Prince William and Princess Kate's home Anmer Hall. The family will continue the tradition of attending Christmas service at St Mary Magdalene Church before the meal.
"It will have all the usual traditions of a Sandringham gathering," Bond says. "The family will gather but they'll be lacking their matriarch. Like every other family, they will get used to it but it'll be slightly different."
According to Bond, Charles will follow his mother's example of recording the message a few days ahead of time. While the speech will no doubt be "very interesting," she doesn't believe the Royal Family will all sit down together to watch anymore but will focus on spending time with each other. "I'm sure he'll record it a few days before and it's bound to have some reflection on their loss," Bond says.
Christmas during Queen Elizabeth's reign was a notoriously formal affair, to which family members could not attend without an official invitation from Her Majesty. Bond believes Charles will preside over a more relaxed celebration.
"Most families by then will be recovering from their large meal and the day's festive celebrations. I suspect it will be less formal. It'll be a bit less buttoned up."
Royal insiders say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been invited to Sandringham for Christmas by King Charles but are "unlikely" to attend—and an insider says it's because of tension over Harry's upcoming memoir. "Obviously his sons have a standing invitation, but the reality is that no-one is expecting Harry and Meghan to fly over, given that his book is hanging over everything," the source says.