What time is the King's speech on Christmas Day and what channel is it on?

The first festive message of his reign

an extreme close up of King Charles who is to give a speech on Christmas day 2022
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

Wondering what time the King's speech is on during Christmas Day? We've shared all the need to know details on how to watch.

Tinsel, turkey and all the trimmings - some things are synonymous with Christmas Day, and the annual monarch's speech is one of them. For the last 70 years, Brits and those across the Commonwealth have enjoyed a festive address from her late Majesty. But Christmas 2022 brings with it big change following the death of Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab).

Now in the new Carolean era (opens in new tab), audiences are getting ready to watch King Charles I's Christmas Day message - the first of his reign. For many households this will be a highlight of the Christmas TV schedule (opens in new tab), so here's the details on time, channel and where this year's message is filmed.

What time is the King's Speech on Christmas Day?

As is tradition, this year's King's Speech will be broadcast at 3pm GMT on Christmas Day. 2022 marks King Charles' first Christmas Day message and the first address from a King in over 70 years.

The monarch's message to the nation has been televised since 1957, with Queen Elizabeth II recording 69 during her reign. The speech is not live, having instead been pre-recorded by the monarch a few days prior.

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Several media outlets have claimed that King Charles filmed his speech on December 13. Buckingham Palace have since confirmed that the King recorded his message in the Quire of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (opens in new tab). He's seen standing next to a Christmas tree which is decorated with sustainable ornaments made of paper, glass and pine cones. 

The chapel is also festively decorated in English foliage such as holly, berried ivy and red skimmia.

The filming location of Christmas speeches has varied over the years. Some have been previously recorded at Buckingham Palace, seeing as it's the primary residence of the British monarch. Sandringham in Norfolk - where the royals often spend Christmas - has also paid host to previous Christmas speeches. Sandringham is also where King Charles' great-great grandfather George V delivered the first ever Christmas speech to the nation - via radio in 1932.

The Queen's last Christmas Day message - which aired in 2021 - was also filmed from Windsor Castle. Sat behind a desk in the White Drawing Room, the Queen paid tribute to the late Prince Philip in her address, reflecting on Christmas being a difficult time for those who are missing loved ones.

What channel will the King's Speech be on?

This year the King's Speech will be available to watch on four channels: BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1 and Sky One. Starting at 3pm, the address to the nation will last approximately 10 minutes.

Since 1997, the monarch's speech has been shown by all three broadcasters - who take it in turn to record the message. They work on a rota-based system which changes every two years. The edited footage is then shared with the rest of the world's media so they too can broadcast it in other territories on Christmas Day.

What will the King's speech be about?

Buckingham Palace never reveal the contents of the Queen or King's speech in advance of the broadcast. However, it's thought that this year's address will almost certainly pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on September 8, 2022.

After his speech, the broadcast will follow with a Christmas carol and the National Anthem performed by the St George's Chapel choir.

Jeremy Archer (opens in new tab), author of A Royal Christmas (opens in new tab) agrees, sharing his thoughts withOK! magazine (opens in new tab) on how Charles will honour his late mother. "He’ll talk about how positive she was and how inclusive she was," he says. "It will be solemn and reflective, but it will show gratitude for her reign, her life and all the things she’s achieved."

The late Queen Elizabeth II sat next to her son King Charles I in 2017

(Image credit: Getty)

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams (opens in new tab) agrees that The Queen will be at the heart of Charles' Christmas Day message. He told The National News (opens in new tab): "I think it will be a very professional job, especially since he is well aware he will be the subject of such fascination. It is the first one. 

"In a year that will obviously see the queen’s death and the magnificent funeral at the centre of the speech, there is no doubt he will pay a very moving tribute to her."

Ingrid Seward (opens in new tab), editor of Majesty magazine (opens in new tab) is expecting a picth-perfect performance from the monarch in his first Christmas Day address. "Over many years of public speaking the king has acquired the delivery of a professional actor and I have no doubt it will be a masterly performance," she wrote in the latest issue of Majesty.

Who writes the King's speech?

King Charles I is expected to write his own speech shared at Christmas - much like his late mother. Queen Elizabeth II was known for writing her own festive message with support from her advisors.

The first royal message was 251 words long, though Queen Elizabeth II's speeches were lengthier - averaging 656 words. After the Christmas message has been broadcast, the full transcript of the speech is then available to read on the official Royal Family website (opens in new tab).

The UK and Commonwealth have only witnessed one address from King Charles I since taking to the throne. Airing on September 9, 2022 - the day after Queen Elizabeth II died - Charles addressed the nation as the new monarch, sharing in their grief at the Queen's passing.

He concluded his speech: "And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.

"Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May ‘flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’."

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.