The Queen’s most memorable Christmas Day speeches

Every Christmas, millions of us in the UK and across the Commonwealth gather around to listen to the Queen’s Christmas speech.

The Queen and her husband, Prince Phillip, won’t be be celebrating Christmas at Sandringham this year, for the first time in 33 years.

The Queen made her first Christmas Day speech in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI.

2020 will be her 68th Christmas Day message, but of her 67 speeches so far, which ones have been most memorable?

Here are five of the Queen’s most memorable Christmas Day messages.

1952

1952 was a special occasion for Her Majesty as it was her first Christmas as Queen – and her first without her late father.

Sitting at the same desk as her father King George VI the previous year she said: “Each Christmas, at this time, my beloved father broadcast a message to his people in all parts of the world. Today I am doing this to you, who are now my people.”

The following June was to be her Coronation Day and she ended her Christmas message with a request for prayer from all religions.

““You will be keeping it as a holiday; but I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me on that day,” she said.

“To pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve him and you, all the days of my life.”

1957

The first year the Queen’s speech was televised and the year a young Queen Elizabeth II brought the monarchy into the modern era.

For the first time, people could see inside her home and see the face of their Queen as she addressed the nation.

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1992

The 1992 speech sticks in the memory as it was the year the Queen sued The Sun for publishing her Christmas message two days early.

The Queen was awarded £200,000 in damages which she donated to charity.

It was a turbulent year for the royal family after three of her children went through divorce and much of Windsor Castle was destroyed by a fire.

She said: “Like many other families, we have lived through some difficult days this year.

“The prayers, understanding, and sympathy given to us by so many of you, in good times and bad, have lent us great support and encouragement.

“It has touched me deeply that much of this has come from those of you who have troubles of your own.”

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1997

1997 was an emotional speech as it was the year Princess Diana died in tragic circumstances – it was also the first speech to be made available on the internet.

In an emotional speech she referenced the national grief following the death of Princess Diana and the comfort her family found in the nation’s support.

She said: “We all felt the shock and sorrow of Diana’s death. Thousands upon thousands of you expressed your grief most poignantly in the wonderful flowers and messages left in tribute to her.”

As pictures of the Diana’s funeral played out on the screen she added: “That was a great comfort to all those close to her.”

At nine minutes and 50 seconds it was the longest-ever Christmas Day message from a British monarch.

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2012

2012 was a year of celebration, it was the year the UK hosted the Olympic Games and the year the nation celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“This past year has been one of great celebration for many, the enthusiasm which greeted the Diamond Jubilee was of course especially memorable for me and my family,” she said.

“It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago.”

She added: “That same spirit was also in evidence from the moment the Olympic flame arrived on these shores.”

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