King Charles Tweaks Tradition With Christmas Message

He stands next to the palace's first live tree, a nod to his push for the environment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2023 6:10 AM CST
Updated Dec 25, 2023 10:18 AM CST
King Charles Bucking Tradition With Christmas Message
Britain's King Charles III poses for a photo during the recording of his Christmas message at Buckingham Palace in London, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2023.   (Jonathan Brady/Pool Photo via AP)

Updated with details from the address. King Charles III gave his second Christmas message from Buckingham Palace in front of a live tree with sustainable ornaments—a nod to his environmental ambitions. The tree itself marks a break from royal tradition because it's the first such address featuring a live one, and, in fact, the first live tree in the palace, reports People and the AP. The natural decorations adorning the tree were made from wood, dried oranges, brown glass, pine cones, and paper. The tree will later be replanted, the palace says.

In his prerecorded address, the king spoke of the message of Jesus' life in serving those less fortunate as he honored the "selfless army" that forms the "backbone of our society" helping others. "My heart has been warmed by countless examples of the imaginative ways in which people are caring for one another, going the extra mile to help those around them simply because they know it is the right thing to do," he said.

Charles has promoted environmental causes, such as protecting wildlife and combating climate change long before it became popular, throughout much of his life. He spoke earlier this month at the UN's COP28 climate summit in Dubai, warning that climate goals were "dreadfully far off track," and adding: "To care for this creation is the responsibility owned by people of all faiths and of none. We care for the earth for the sake of our children's children." It was the king's second Christmas speech since he ascended the throne after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died in September 2022, but the first since his coronation in May when he was officially crowned.

(More King Charles III stories.)

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