King Charles at St George Chapel for his first Christmas speech. | PA Media


In his first Christmas Day message, King Charles broke from the tradition set by his mother by delivering it standing up, while the venue had particular poignancy. "I am standing here in this exquisite Chapel of St George at Windsor Castle, so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father. 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. Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones."

In other respects, it was very traditional in addressing the "selfless dedication of our Armed Forces and Emergency Services who work tirelessly to keep us all safe" and "our health and social care professionals, our teachers and indeed all those working in public service, whose skill and commitment are at the heart of our communities".

Service was a core theme that the King emphasised at the time of his mother's passing, and he did so once more during his speech. In reaching out to all faiths and beliefs, the King said that "whatever faith you have, or whether you have none, it is in this life-giving light (of overcoming darkness), and with the true humility that lies in our service to others, that I believe we can find hope for the future".

The King referred to a "time of great anxiety and hardship, be it for those around the world facing conflict, famine or natural disaster, or for those at home finding ways to pay their bills and keep their families fed and warm". Images of food banks and the homeless supported this theme, as the King alluded again to a dedication to service, which is seen "in the humanity of people throughout our nations and the Commonwealth who so readily respond to the plight of others".