Monarch’s Message: From Radio To 3D
Updated: 4:41am UK, Monday 24 December 2012
The Queen’s grandfather, King George V, delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio from Sandringham more than 75 years ago.
He had reigned since 1910, but it was not until 1932 that he gave his first festive speech.
He was unsure about using the relatively untried medium of the wireless, but eventually agreed and read a message composed by author Rudyard Kipling.
The original idea was suggested by Sir John Reith, the founding father of the BBC, to inaugurate the Empire Service, now the BBC World Service.
The fixed time of 3pm each year was chosen in 1932 because it was considered the best for reaching most of the countries in the British Empire by short wave.
The General Post Office was used to reach Australia, Canada, India, Kenya and South Africa.
George V’s eldest son, who became King Edward VIII, never delivered a Christmas speech as his reign lasted less than a year, ending in abdication.
There was no broadcast in 1936 or 1938.
King George VI, Edward’s younger brother, made his first broadcast in December 1937 in which he thanked the nation and Empire for their support during the first year of his reign.
It was the outbreak of war in 1939 which firmly established the tradition, when George VI sought to reassure people and boost morale.
Following her father’s death, the Queen made her first Christmas broadcast in 1952 and her first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957, live from Sandringham.
She has delivered one every year except for 1969, when she decided the royals had been on TV enough that year following an unprecedented documentary the family made about their life.
Today the speech is available on the television, radio, the Royal Channel on the YouTube website, and in HD.
This year for the first time the national address will also be broadcast in 3D.
The Queen usually does her speech in one take, recording it a couple of weeks before December 25. Accompanying TV footage is gathered throughout the year.
She writes her own message and each one has a religious framework and reflects current issues.
The speech is one of the rare occasions when the Queen does not turn to the Government for advice and is able to voice her own views.
While the Royal Family gathers together round the TV to watch the broadcast on Christmas Day, the Queen sometimes watches it alone, heading off to another room to scrutinise her message in private.
Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1029515