Since 1932, the reigning UK monarch has delivered a Christmas message to their subjects. The speeches are broadcast throughout the Commonwealth over the radio, television, and the internet. The first broadcast was given by King George V, and he got a helping hand from a famous children’s author when it came time to write his speech.
King George V Collaborated With A Famous Author
King George was first approached by the BBC about a potential Christmas broadcast in 1922. He turned them down at first, due to his uncertainty about the value of radio beyond entertainment purposes.
By 1932, he was convinced of radio’s power and agreed to deliver a Christmas message. The first holiday broadcast was scripted by Rudyard Kipling, an author who was famous for books like The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, as well as poems like “Mandalay” and “Gunga Din.”
The speech Kipling wrote for King George focused on the new technology that made the king’s radio broadcast to all parts of the Commonwealth possible, as well as the need for peace around the world.
Rudyard Kipling’s Achievements As An Author
It might be surprising that the king of England would ask a children’s author to pen his first Christmas message, but Kipling was very politically active, as well as a noted writer in all genres. In 1907, he was given the Nobel Prize in Literature—the first English-language writer to receive the prize, as well as the youngest recipient to date.
Kipling was also put forward for the British Poet Laureateship, as well as a knighthood, but declined both honors. Following his death in 1936, Kipling’s ashes were interred at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.
King Charles Is Set To Give His First Christmas Message
The Christmas message has become a beloved holiday tradition for the United Kingdom, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II both delivered Christmas broadcasts during their time on the throne. The broadcast is one of the few times the reigning monarch speaks to the public without the advice from any of their ministers.
King Charles III is set to give his first holiday broadcast this year, and the UK population is ready to hear what words of encouragement he will have for them during his first-ever Christmas message.