The King’s first Christmas speech in full

“I stand in this exquisite St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, very close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, was buried with my dear father.

“Recalling the deeply touching letters, cards and messages so many of you have sent to my wife and I, I cannot thank you enough for the love and concern you have shown to our entire family.

“Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones.

“We sense their absence in every familiar season and remember them in every cherished tradition.

“In the popular Christmas carol O Little Town Of Bethlehem, we sing about how “in your dark streets shines the everlasting light”.

“My mother’s belief in the power of this light was an integral part of her belief in God, but also of her belief in human beings, which I share wholeheartedly.

“It is the belief in the extraordinary capacity of every human being to touch the lives of others with kindness and compassion and to shine a light on the world around them.

“This is the essence of our community and the foundation of our society.

“We see it in the selfless dedication of our armed forces and emergency services who work tirelessly to keep us all safe and who did such a great job as we mourned the death of our late Queen.

“We see it in our health and social care professionals, our teachers and indeed all those who work in the public sector, whose skills and dedication are at the heart of our communities.

“And at this time of great fear and need, whether for those around the world facing conflict, famine or natural disasters, or for those at home finding ways to pay their bills and feed their families and keep warm.” we see it in the humanity of the people of our nations and of the Commonwealth who respond so readily to the needs of others.

“I want to give a special tribute to all of the wonderfully kind people who so generously donate food or donations or the most precious commodity of all, their time, to support those most in need around them, along with the many charitable organizations that do the extraordinary work under the most difficult circumstances.

“Our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras have once again come together to feed the hungry and offer love and support throughout the year.

“Such heartfelt solidarity is the most inspiring expression of loving our neighbor as ourselves.

“The Prince and Princess of Wales recently visited Wales and highlighted practical examples of this community spirit.

“A few years ago I was able to fulfill a lifelong wish to visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

“There I went down into the nativity chapel and stood in silent reverence beside the silver star set in the floor marking the birthplace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“It meant more to me than I can express to stand in this place where, as the Bible tells us, ‘the light that came into the world’ was born.

“While Christmas is of course a Christian celebration, the power of light to overcome darkness is celebrated across faith lines.

“So, whatever your faith or not, I believe that in that life-giving light and in the true humility that lies in our service to others, we can find hope for the future.

“So let’s celebrate it together and always cherish it.

“With all my heart I wish each of you a peaceful, happy and everlasting Christmas.” The King's first Christmas speech in full

Justin Scacco

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