Queen’s Christmas speech 2021: when will Elizabeth II speak on Christmas Day - and how to watch Royal Message

Queen Elizabeth II gave her first Royal Message at Christmas in 1952

Queen Elizabeth II after recording her 2018 Christmas speech (Credit: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II after recording her 2018 Christmas speech (Credit: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II after recording her 2018 Christmas speech (Credit: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen’s Christmas speech will once again be part of many festive watch-lists this year.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Royal Christmas Message.

What time is the Queen’s Christmas speech 2021?

This year’s Royal Christmas Message will begin at 3pm on Saturday 25 December, and will last for around ten minutes.

What will the Queen’s Christmas speech be about?

Though specific details of the Royal Message haven’t yet been revealed, it’s expected that the Queen (who turned 95 years old in April) will talk about the impact of the pandemic in her reflection on 2021.

She’s also likely to tie that to her own loss of her husband, Prince Philip, after their 73-year marriage. The Duke of Edinburgh died earlier this year on 9 April.

As part of her Christmas 2020 speech, the Queen thanked NHS key workers for their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and tried to reassure anyone separated from their friends and family that they were not alone.

What does the Queen’s sapphire brooch mean?

It’s been revealed that, during this year’s broadcast, the Queen will wear a sapphire brooch with a chrysanthemum design.

It’s a piece of jewellery with a sentimental connection to the Duke, as the Queen wore it on both their 2007 diamond wedding anniversary and on their 1947 honeymoon.

The brooch was originally given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert. It is thought, due to the intensity of its colour, that the sapphire itself was likely taken from Burma originally.

How can I watch the Queen’s Speech on TV?

The Queen’s Christmas speech will air simultaneously on BBC One, ITV, Sky One, and Sky News. You’ll also be able to listen to it on BBC Radio Four.

It will also be available on BBC iPlayer, and later uploaded to the Royal Family’s website as well.

How will it be filmed?

The Queen’s speech is not delivered live (and hasn’t been since 1960). Instead, it is filmed in early December.

It’s expected that, like last year, the Queen’s speech will have been filmed by a small crew for safety reasons during the pandemic.

How many Queen’s Speeches have there been?

The first Royal Christmas Message – which is formally known as Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech – happened in 1932.

It was a radio address given by George V, the Queen’s grandfather, and it’s estimated that 20 million people listened to the speech across the world.

The Queen’s father, George VI, gave his first speech in 1937. The film The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, dramatises the events leading up to his 1939 Christmas speech as the second world war began.

The Queen gave her first Christmas speech in 1952. This year’s royal message would be her 69th Christmas speech, however there was no broadcast Christmas speech in 1969 as the BBC aired a special documentary about the Royal Family instead.

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