Read it in full: King Charles' Christmas Day speech

25 December 2023, 15:11

The King's Speech
The King's Speech. Picture: ITN
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

King Charles delivered his second Christmas Day speech as monarch today. Here is the speech in full.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

"Many of the festivals of the great religions of the world are celebrated with a special meal. A chance for family and friends to come together across generations; the act of sharing food adding to conviviality and togetherness," the King said.

"For some, faith will be uppermost in their hearts. For others, it will be the joy of fellowship and the giving of presents.

"It is also a time when we remember those who are no longer with us and think also of those whose work of caring for others continues, even on this special day.

"This care and compassion we show to others is one of the themes of the Christmas story, especially when Mary and Joseph were offered shelter in their hour of need by strangers, as they waited for Jesus to be born.

"Over this past year my heart has been warmed by countless examples of the imaginative ways in which people are caring for one another - going the extra mile to help those around them simply because they know it is the right thing to do: at work and at home; within and across communities.

"My wife and I were delighted when hundreds of representatives of that selfless army of people - volunteers who serve their communities in so many ways and with such distinction - were able to join us in Westminster Abbey for the coronation earlier this year.

"They are an essential backbone of our society. Their presence meant so much to us both and emphasised the meaning of coronation itself: above all, a call to us all to serve one another; to love and care for all.

"Service also lies at the heart of the Christmas story - the birth of Jesus who came to serve the whole world, showing us by his own example how to love our neighbour as ourselves.

"Throughout the year, my family have witnessed how people of all ages are making a difference to their communities. This is all the more important at a time of real hardship for many, when we need to build on existing ways to support others less fortunate than ourselves.

"Because out of God's providence we are blessed with much, and it is incumbent on us to use this wisely.

"However, service to others is but one way of honouring the whole of creation which, after all, is a manifestation of the divine. This is a belief shared by all religions.

"To care for this creation is a responsibility owned by people of all faiths and of none. We care for the Earth for the sake of our children's children.

"During my lifetime I have been so pleased to see a growing awareness of how we must protect the Earth and our natural world as the one home which we all share.

"I find great inspiration now from the way so many people recognise this - as does the Christmas story, which tells us that angels brought the message of hope first to shepherds. These were people who lived simply amongst others of God's creatures. Those close to nature were privileged that night.

"And at a time of increasingly tragic conflict around the World, I pray that we can also do all in our power to protect each other. The words of Jesus seem more than ever relevant: 'Do to others as you would have them do to you.'

"Such values are universal, drawing together our Abrahamic family of religions, and other belief systems, across the Commonwealth and wider world. They remind us to imagine ourselves in the shoes of our neighbours, and to seek their good as we would our own.

"So on this Christmas Day, my heart and my thanks go to all who are serving one another; all who are caring for our common home; and all who see and seek the good of others, not least the friend we do not yet know. In this way, we bring out the best in ourselves.

"I wish you a Christmas of 'peace on Earth and goodwill to all', today and always."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Graham Gomm

Prisoner who escaped custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during hospital trip is arrested following manhunt

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show