Photo marks King Charles III’s first Christmas speech as he gives to charity

Charles are Queen Consort Camilla are at Sandringham for the holiday period

A photo shows King Charles III during the recording of his first Christmas broadcast. PA
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Queen Elizabeth II is expected to be remembered fondly in King Charles III's first Christmas speech as he celebrates in Norfolk, from where he gave to a charity for people who are struggling with bills.

A photo, taken during the recording of his festive address, was released for Saturday before the traditional broadcast, which is aired on Christmas Day.

King Charles has arrived in Sandringham, his family's Norfolk estate, and made a donation to the Fuel Bank Foundation, a charity for people suffering the cost-of-living crisis.

The royal standard is flying above Sandringham, where King Charles and the Queen Consort Camilla will celebrate Christmas Day with family.

In the newly-released photograph, the king is standing while delivering his address. In recent years, the queen recorded her Christmas broadcast sat at a desk, but in previous decades she has also stood for the occasion.

The festive message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

In the background is a large Christmas tree decorated with ornaments made from sustainable materials including paper and glass, as well as natural products such as pine cones.

The picture also shows foliage decorations that have been placed among the stalls in the quire, that feature holly, berried ivy and red skimmia.

The Fuel Bank Foundation said financial donations have been passed on to the charity along with an undisclosed donation from Charles through the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.

“We are extremely grateful for the kind and generous donation from His Majesty the King,” said foundation head Matthew Cole.

“The money will be used to help keep vulnerable people warm this winter, offering some physical and mental respite from the challenges posed by the energy and cost-of-living crisis.”

The charity provides emergency help to people living without heat, light and power in their homes because they cannot afford to top up prepayment gas or electricity meters.

It will be the first time the royal family has spent Christmas at Sandringham since 2019 and will be a poignant period after the death of the queen in September.

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children are expected to join the king and his wife, alongside the Princess Royal and her family and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children.

Updated: December 24, 2022, 4:58 AM