Queen Elizabeth‘s annual Christmas Day speech had more viewers than any other program in the United Kingdom, according to reports. With 7.4 million people watching it on BBC and 1.7million viewers on ITV, more than nine million people tuned into the annual Christmas Day speech. The 6.3million viewership last year was approximately 6.3million HTML1.
The queen’s message, her second since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the first since the passing of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years.
Neither the queen nor the producers of the official video avoided addressing his absence. The video began with images of the couple, before moving to a frame photo of them on the queen’s desk. She began her remarks with “[a]Christmas can be difficult for people who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why.”
She continued, “[b]ut for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth, and the world. His spirit of service, intellectual curiosity and ability to make the most of every situation were irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.”
On the subject of the ongoing pandemic, which interrupted even the queen’s holiday plans, she commented that “we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, [but] we can still enjoy the many happy traditions. Be it the singing of carols (as long as the tune is well known); decorating the tree; giving and receiving presents; or watching a favorite film where we already know the ending, it’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.”
The video concluded with some pre-recorded singing: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was this year’s bop. The carolers weren’t doctors or nurses, unlike last years “Joy To The World”.
The queen’s Christmas Message (officially called “Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech”) is a tradition launched by King George V (the current monarch’s grandfather) with a radio broadcast in 1932.
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