A bit of history behind Her Majesty The Queen’s Christmas message

Following the tradition that was started in 1932 by her father, King George V, Her Majesty The Queen broadcast her inaugural Christmas Message live on the radio from her study at Sandringham, Norfolk in 1952. The Queen began: “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.”

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Thankfully, this “new medium” of television, as The Queen put it some 58 years ago in 1957, took hold thus allowing for The Queen’s Happy Christmas message to be seen and not just heard each year on Christmas Day. This first televised Christmas broadcast by The Queen was also filmed at Sandringham House in Norfolk in 1957. I love her calling television a landmark as it allowed “so many of you to see me”.

History of the Christmas message…

Sir John Reith, the visionary founding father of the BBC, convinced King George V to speak “wirelessly” to the Empire to inaugurate the BBC World Service. It wasn’t a particularly easy task as he microphones at Sandringham were connected through Post Office land lines to the Control Room at Broadcasting House. From there connection was made to BBC transmitters in the Home Service, and to the Empire Broadcasting Station at Daventry with its six short-wave transmitters. The text of the first Christmas speech, which was transmitted a 3:05pm was written by poet and writer Rudyard Kipling.

For the inner-Anglophile in all of us, here’s a comprehensive transcript list of all Christmas message’s from The Queen from her initial message following the death of her father, King George VI in 1952 to present day.

Happy Christmas to all from Tellyspotting! and, Her Majesty The Queen.


In: Odds & Sods