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King Charles pays tribute to his mother in his first Christmas message as monarch

King Charles pays tribute to his mother in his first Christmas message as monarch

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of Great Britain King Charles paid a heartfelt tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, in his first Christmas broadcast as monarch on Sunday.

Speaking in a pre-recorded address from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the Queen was laid to rest alongside her husband Prince Philip, the new king thanked members of the public who have shown love and sympathy since her death in September.

“I think of the deeply moving letters, cards and messages that so many of you have sent my wife and I, and I cannot thank you enough for the love and compassion you have shown to our entire family,” he said.

“Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We miss them in every familiar moment of the season and remember them in every cherished tradition.”

King Charles honored the Queen’s legacy throughout his speech, recalling her belief in the power of “eternal light” and her belief in people touching the lives of others.

“In the much-loved Christmas carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ we sing of how ‘in thy dark streets the eternal light shines.’ My mother’s belief in the power of this light was an essential part of her faith in God, but also of her faith in people—and it is something I share with all my heart. It is a belief in the extraordinary ability of each person to touch, with kindness and compassion, the lives of others and illuminate the world around them,” he said.

“It is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society.”

Sunday’s message marks the first annual Christmas broadcast in Britain that has not been delivered by the Queen since her first message in 1957. In her final Christmas speech last year, she spoke of “passing the baton” to the next generation.

King Charles also made a passing reference to the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis, speaking of a time of “unrest” and “difficulty” as people around the world face conflict and those at home struggle to pay their bills and “keep their families fed and warm.”

The king’s speech continues a royal family tradition dating back 90 years and comes days after the first images of British banknotes of the new monarch were revealed by the Bank of England.

The portrait of King Charles will appear on £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. Meanwhile, the rest of the design will remain the same as the current banknotes, which feature the late Queen Elizabeth on the front.

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