King Charles Has Apparently Gone Rogue with His Christmas Day Speech

He is reportedly not consulting advisors and is speaking extemporaneously.

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s not much we can rely on anymore to happen year-to-year, without question, but one standby on Christmas Day for the royal family is this: the King’s Speech (formerly, for 70 years, the Queen’s Speech) will air at 3 p.m. U.K. time on December 25. This year, it seems, King Charles has gone rogue with the speech, with Tatler reporting that Charles penned it without the help of advisors and that it will be more extemporaneous, the outlet reports.

The first Christmas broadcast was delivered by King George V in 1932 and has become a tradition for all in the U.K. and those who follow the royal family around the globe. This year, following a developing instinct of Charles’ for speaking off the cuff, Charles has eschewed advice in favor of doing it his own way, it seems. The Daily Mail reports he has written the speech without recourse to royal advisors; now 75 years old and having gotten the hang of this whole royal thing, Charles is “becoming increasingly confident in an instinctual approach to public speaking,” Tatler writes. “No doubt, he has plenty of experience by now.” 

King Charles in France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now, all of this to say that the Christmas message will be reviewed and edited to some degree, “otherwise the filming and production of it would be impossible,” Tatler continues. However, just like last year (his first King’s Speech), The Daily Mail reports that advisors were allowed only to make minor alterations to the speech and done only to fit with the production team’s work that broadcasts the message.

A pivotal moment for the King happened in 2012 during Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, when Charles (then Prince of Wales) decided he didn’t like the speech in his formal notes and rewrote the entire oration in the Royal Box, on the fly and off the cuff. “Since then, he has grown increasingly into an authentic and from-the-heart approach to speechmaking,” Tatler reports.

And that Diamond Jubilee speech was effective—if you’ll remember, he fired up the crowd to chant his father Prince Philip’s name loudly so that Philip might hear it from the hospital, where he was recuperating; “it moved the Queen almost to tears,” The Daily Mail reports. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles

(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Charles kisses the hand of his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Sang Tan / WPA Pool for Getty Images

(Image credit: Sang Tan / WPA Pool for Getty Images)

Last year’s Christmas message—his first, given just three months after the death of Her late Majesty in September—focused on grief and loss. The location of the speech was a quite tender reflection of the loss, as the King spoke from the Quire in St. George’s Chapel, where his mother is laid to rest.

“Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones,” he said in the Christmas message last year. “We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition.”

The Daily Mail writes that “The King has learnt that he speaks best when he does so as off-the-cuff as possible, a talent he learnt relatively late in life.” Though we don’t yet know what he will say, exactly, contenders for inclusion are his Coronation (which happened in May), the conflict in Gaza, and climate change, which is one of Charles’ chief concerns as a devoted environmentalist. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.