The Queen’s Christmas Day message has once more been ranked the most-watched programme on 25th December.
8 million people had Her Majesty in their living room on Christmas Day, beating 2015’s viewing number by almost 500,000 people.
The speech was still broadcast, as The Queen skipped church for the first time still suffering from a heavy cold, which prevented her and The Duke of Edinburgh travelling to Norfolk last week.
5.2 million watched on the BBC and 2.9 million on ITV’s slot, giving a total audience of 8.1 million. Strictly Come Dancing ranked second, and The Great British Bake Off Christmas special finished in third place. The two shows had 7.2 million and 6.3 million viewers respectively.
Featuring a theme of inspiration, Her Majesty commented on how she was continually given hope in her work: “I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.”
She went on to praise Team GB’s athletes and their record medal haul, as well as Prince William’s work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Elizabeth II reminded viewers of the 60th and 40th birthdays of The Duke of Edinburgh award and Prince’s Trust this year, too.
Naturally, the Head of the Church of England referred to the Christmas story:
“Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far,” The Queen said. “He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.
“The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows.”
The Queen finished by wishing viewers a Happy Christmas, in a tradition that began with George V – her grandfather – in 1932. The first televised broadcast came in 1957, with Her Majesty recording the message from Sandringham.
The BBC beat the other channels, with eight out of the top 10 most popular programmes on Christmas Day. Mrs Brown’s Boys, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife were other popular shows.
There was sad news for the Royal Family in the run up to the big day, however; it was announced that Zara Tindall had suffered a miscarriage with her and Mike’s second child.