King’s Christmas speech – The emotional Charles pays tribute to the Queen’s ‘beloved mother’ in ‘time of great need’

I stand in this exquisite St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, very close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is buried with my dear father.

I remember the deeply touching letters, cards and messages so many of you have sent to my wife and I, and I cannot thank you enough for the love and concern you have shown to our entire family.

Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones.

We sense their absence at every known season and
remember them in every cherished tradition.

In the popular Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” we sing of how “in your dark streets shines the everlasting light.”

My mother’s belief in the power of this light was an essential part of her belief in God, but also of her belief in human beings – and I share that with all my heart.

It is the belief in the extraordinary capacity of every human being to touch the lives of others with kindness and compassion and to shine a light on the world around them.

This is the essence of our community and the foundation of our society.

We see it in the selfless devotion of our Armed Forces and Emergency Services who work tirelessly to keep us all safe and who did such a great job as we mourned the death of our late Queen.

We see it in our health and social workers, our teachers, and indeed everyone who works in public service, whose skills and dedication are at the heart of our communities.

And in this time of great fear and need – whether for people around the world facing conflict, famine or natural disasters, or for those at home finding ways to pay their bills and feed their families and keep them warm – we see it in the humanity of people in our nations and in the Commonwealth who respond so readily to the needs of others.

I want to give a special tribute to all of the wonderfully kind people who so generously donate food or donations, or the most precious commodity of all – their time – to support those most in need around them, along with the many charitable organizations that do such extraordinary work under the most difficult conditions.

Our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras have united once again to feed the hungry and offer love and support throughout the year.

Such heartfelt solidarity is the most inspiring expression
to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The Prince and Princess of Wales recently visited Wales and highlighted practical examples of this community spirit.

A few years ago I was able to fulfill a lifelong wish to visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

There I went down into the Nativity Chapel and stood in silent reverence beside the silver star set in the floor marking the place of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It meant more to me than I can express to stand in this place where, as the Bible tells us, “the light that came into the world” was born.

While Christmas is of course a Christian celebration, the power of light to overcome darkness is celebrated across faith lines.
Regardless of your faith or not, I believe that in that life-giving light and in the true humility that lies in our service to others, we can find hope for the future.

So let’s celebrate it together and always cherish it.

With all my heart I wish each of you a peaceful, happy and everlasting Christmas. King’s Christmas speech – The emotional Charles pays tribute to the Queen’s ‘beloved mother’ in ‘time of great need’


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