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  • The King will appear in front of a live Christmas tree which will be replanted 

The King will deliver the second Christmas message of his reign from Buckingham Palace today as he focuses on the need to protect the planet amidst the climate crisis. 

Traditionally, the monarch’s Christmas message has been carefully apolitical, but King Charles has often spoken out about the need to protect the planet. 

At last month’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai he told world leaders ‘the Earth does not belong to us’ and warned that his grandchildren will have to live ‘with the consequences of what we did or didn’t do’.

The speech will be delivered in a room decorated with a living Christmas tree, the first time a living tree has been used as part of the backdrop for Charles’ annual festive address to the nation and Commonwealth.

The nation will hear from the King at 3pm this afternoon, against a backdrop of the tree, which is decorated with sustainable ornaments

Traditionally, the monarch¿s Christmas message has been carefully apolitical, but King Charles has often spoken out about the need to protect the planet

Traditionally, the monarch’s Christmas message has been carefully apolitical, but King Charles has often spoken out about the need to protect the planet

The 3pm broadcast will mark the second Christmas message of Charles' reign

The 3pm broadcast will mark the second Christmas message of Charles’ reign

Charles, like the late Queen Elizabeth, writes his Christmas broadcasts and last year he followed his mother’s well-established template, a personal reflection on the year, touching on current issues and with a Christian framework.

The King is a long-term environmental campaigner who delivered a speech at the recent Cop28 UN Climate Change summit, and the tree will be given to charity to be replanted after the broadcast.

From its branches hang natural and sustainable decorations including hand-turned wood, dried oranges, glass baubles, pine cones and paper.

Charles’ Christmas message, due to be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day, is again delivered standing up and this year’s location is the Buckingham Palace room that leads on to the royal residence’s iconic balcony.

Members of the Royal Family have gathered in the Centre Room ahead of historic balcony appearances like after Charles’ coronation or Trooping the Colour celebrations.

In the background can be seen the Queen Victoria Memorial which was planned by King Edward VII as a tribute to his mother and her reign but, after his death in 1910, was opened a year later by his son King George V.

Resting on a table to the King’s right is a pot pourri bowl with gilt metal cover believed to have been acquired by George IV. 

The circular tazza-shaped bowl of Japanese lacquered wood with gilt bronze mounts is held by the Royal Collection Trust.

All the decorations on the tree are sustainable and recyclable

All the decorations on the tree are sustainable and recyclable

The King also appears to be recycling his suit – he was pictured in the same blue single-breasted design he wore for last year’s Christmas message. 

He has previously emphasised the importance of re-wearing clothes, saying ‘people throw so much away when they could easily mend’. 

A BBC documentary about the King’s first year on the throne, to be broadcast on Boxing Day and produced by the Mail’s Robert Hardman, will show behind-the-scenes footage from last year’s Christmas broadcast, which was seen by 10.6 million viewers in the UK.

The film opens on December 13, 2022, at Windsor Castle, and features the King saying of the message: ‘Well I did it all really.’ That speech was recorded at St George’s Chapel and featured a moving tribute to his late mother, who is laid to rest there.

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