First pic from King Charles inaugural Christmas message with nod to late Queen

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    King Charles is expected to pay tribute to his mother, the late Queen, as part of his first Christmas message to the nation.

    An image of the new monarch, taken during the recording of his inaugural festive address, has been released ahead of the King's full Christmas speech which will be broadcast on Christmas Day.

    The festive message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, which has a strong association with the late Queen.

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    The former monarch’s committal service was held in the chapel and she was laid to rest in the George VI Memorial Chapel, within St George’s, with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

    Charles spoke movingly about his “beloved mother”, who reigned for 70 years, in his first broadcast as King screened the day after her death on September 8.

    In that address he said: “We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.”

    The King’s Christmas message was recorded in the quire of St George’s Chapel, where the royal family sat during the Queen’s committal service, and during the broadcast the choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor performs the National Anthem and sings a carol.

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    In the background, a large Christmas tree can be seen. It's decorated with ornaments made from sustainable materials including paper and glass as well as natural products like pine cones.

    As the Prince of Wales, the King regularly voiced concerns about the threat to the environment and worked to bring governments, and the private and public sector together to find solutions to the climate change crisis.

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

    Following the recording of the King’s festive address, the Christmas tree was re-used by St George’s Chapel in the Dean’s Cloister for visitors to enjoy.

    The broadcast was produced by BBC Studios Events, ahead of ITV whose turn it was to record the King’s first festive address under a rotating producer system between the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

    A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the decision was taken as the BBC had “experience of shooting in St George’s Chapel this year”.

    The King's Speech tops the betting at 1-2 with bookmaker Coral to be the most watched TV programme in the UK on Christmas Day this year.

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