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Queen’s Sombre Christmas Broadcast

  • December 30th, 2008
  • Posted by Amelia Birnie

Sober expectations for 2009 were reflected in the United Kingdom, in the subdued tone of the Queen’s annual Christmas message – ending on a note of hope.

Speaking from the Music Room at Buckingham Palace (25.12.08), the Queen referred to the global credit crisis, and those suffering violence in several countries.

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“Christmas is a time of celebration,” Queen Elizabeth II said, “but this year, it is a more sombre occasion for many.”

“People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world.”

“Whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land, the effects can be felt at home.”

She paid tribute to those who gave unselfish serving others in need, and families with loved ones serving their country in uniform overseas.


The broadcast marked the 51st anniversary of the first televised Christmas speech in 1957 when the Queen spoke live from Sandringham.

It also featured previously unseen home movie footage of a young Princess Elizabeth playing with her son Charles, as a one year-old, at Clarence House in 1949.

The Queen has delivered a message every year except in 1969, when she decided the “Royals” had been on TV enough that year, following an unprecedented documentary the family made about their life.

She put out just a written address that time.

The annual Christmas message is one of the only occasions the Crown in Britain does not turn to the Government for advice, so it is seen as a true reflection of the Queen’s views.

King George V delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio 75 years ago from Sandringham, when he read a message composed by the author Rudyard Kipling.


BBC News, UK, ‘The Queen’s Christmas Message ‘, 25.12.2008

The Royal Channel, ‘The Queen’s Christmas Speech 2008 – Video’, 25.12.2008