It was the king’s second Christmas speech since he ascended the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022, but the first since his coronation in May, when he was officially crowned in a medieval ceremony rich in pageantry and pomp.
Charles, who has long campaigned for environmental causes and recently told foreign leaders at the COP28 climate conference that achieving climate goals remained “woefully far from being achieved”, said he was encouraged by the awareness growing need to protect the Earth.
“Caring for this creation is the responsibility of people of all faiths and none,” he said. “We care for the Earth for the sake of our children’s children. »
In his own gesture toward sustainability, the evergreen next to him was adorned with natural decorations made from wood, dried oranges, pine cones and paper. The tree, the first living one in the palace, was to be replanted after the holidays.
As Charles spoke, a video showed highlights of his past year, including helping to plant a tree during a trip to Kenya – his first state visit as monarch with Queen Camilla to a Commonwealth country .
It also featured images of the coronation in which he declared: “I do not come to be served but to serve. » Another clip showed his eldest son, Prince William, heir to the throne, with his wife, Kate, Princess of Wales, and their three children fulfilling this mission by helping to rebuild a Scout hut during a day of service that followed the coronation.
Her ex-son, Prince Harry, who left the ranks of the royal family when he moved to the United States in 2020 with his wife, Meghan, was not shown in the video. Harry, who appeared alone at the coronation and sat in the third row, stoked tensions with his best-selling memoir, “Spare,” published earlier this year, accusing his brother of beating him.
At a time of “increasingly tragic conflicts in the world”, referring to the wars in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas, Charles invoked the words of Christ: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you “.
“They remind us to imagine ourselves in our neighbors’ shoes and to seek their good as our own,” he said. “My heart and thanks go out to all who serve one another, to all who care for our common home, and to all who see and seek the good in others, especially the friend we do not know Again.”