King Charles III followed in his late mother’s footsteps in more ways than one in a somber Christmas address that spoke of faith and tradition with a couple of notable snubs along the way.
In a tradition dating back to 1932, the British monarch offered up slightly more than five minutes of reflections Sunday, marking the first time in 70 years that the late-Queen Elizabeth II hadn’t presided as head of the Church of England. As she had in her final Christmas address in 2021, Charles made no mention of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, his son Harry and daughter-in-law Meghan Markle.
To start, the king thanked all of those who had shown their sympathies since his mother had died earlier this year.
“I am standing here in this exquisite chapel of St. George at Windsor Castle so close to where my beloved mother, the late queen, is laid to rest with my dear father. I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards, and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself. And I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.”
‘I cannot thank you all enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family. Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones.’
King Charles delivers his first Christmas speech and pays tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth II. pic.twitter.com/pNpF4MSpnh
— GB News (@GBNEWS) December 25, 2022
This led Charles to point out, “Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition.”
While the obvious connotation was to Elizabeth and, likewise, to the losses experienced by others, it is possible that the king was making a subtle nod toward the Sussexes who had not attended the traditional Sandringham Christmas service despite reported suggestions that olive branches had been extended to the celebrity couple.
Far from subtle was the inclusion of Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, with a tribute to the country squarely juxtaposed with military, first responders and public servants as he said, “Such heartfelt solidarity is the most inspiring expression of loving our neighbor as ourself. The Prince and Princess of Wales recently visited Wales, shining a light on practical examples of this community spirit.”
He even took time to celebrate the works of other faiths on the Christian holiday as he called out the endeavors of “churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras” who “once again united in feeding the hungry.”
The complete absence of mention of the Sussexes was a change from his first royal address when Charles had stated his “love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
In closing, the king remarked, “With all my heart, I wish each of you the Christmas of peace, happiness, and everlasting life.”
In reaction, many expressed their support for Charles sticking with matters of actual import.
A King doesn’t snub anyone. His speech addressed matters of importance to the Nation and not personal feelings
— Dave Peel MBE (@my_magnets) December 25, 2022
The speech said it all:
No apologies forthcoming
No part of the RF family
Other Countries that still sees Prince Harry as part of the RF, extending Royal welcomes , should rethink that. Harry is on his own, no Royal status, a citizen living in the US being a Duke
— Newsreader (@Newsrea53465653) December 25, 2022
— katefitzpatrick (@kathy121255) December 25, 2022
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