Two new developments for the traditional Queen’s Christmas speech this year have been revealed: it will be available on Alexa and other smart home devices, and snippets of the speech, usually released before the broadcast, will not be shared beforehand.
Users with such smart devices will be able to say ‘Alexa, play The Queen’s Christmas Day Message’ or ‘Alexa, play Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day Message’ ’from 3pm GMT on Christmas Day and listen along.
The royal Christmas Day tradition began with a radio broadcast by George V in 1932, from Sandringham, and The Queen gave the first televised version in 1957. Her Majesty then commented she hoped the medium would ‘make my Christmas message more personal and more direct’.
In 2012, the speech was made available via Kindle, along with 59 of The Queen’s previous Christmas messages.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Our aim for the broadcast is always to share The Queen’s words with as many people as possible across the Commonwealth.”
The Daily Mail’s royal correspondent, Rebecca English, explained on Twitter she understands ‘Amazon approached the palace and asked if they could make it available on their devices’.
Eric King, Director of Alexa Europe, said: “After a challenging year, millions of people from across the Commonwealth will be eagerly awaiting Her Majesty The Queen’s message on Christmas Day.
“By creating this world-first innovation, just as we did in 2012 with the release of The Queen’s Christmas Speech on Kindle, we hope that even more people will be able to enjoy the uplifting words of Her Majesty. This really is one for the history books and showcases just how far technology has advanced since the very first speech was delivered back in 1932.”
The second development comes after there were complaints that parts of Her Majesty’s address were published in advance last year. In that speech, she described 2019 as ‘quite bumpy’, referring to the
It will increase the impact of this year’s message, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have had more regular communications from the Monarch this year, twice during the first wave; one was a message of unity in April – ‘We will meet again’ – and a second to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.