Queen’s touching tribute to Charles: In Prince of Wales’s 70th year his mother clears away the photos of the younger generation of royals to deliver her speech next to image of her eldest son as a babe in her arms
- The Queen had a black-and-white picture of a baby Charles in 1949 on her desk
- She delivered her broadcast in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace
- A gold Scarab brooch she is wearing was a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen put Prince Charles at the centre of her Christmas message in the year her oldest son turned 70.
The 92-year-old monarch placed a black-and-white picture of a six-month-old Charles on her desk as she recorded the broadcast on December 12.
The picture, taken in April 1949, shows a smiling 23-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her husband Philip holding baby Charles.
Last year the Queen chose to put younger generations of the family in the foreground with pictures of her great-grandchildren George and Charlotte.
The Queen records her Christmas Day message, in which she will preach a message of conciliation to the nation, in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace
This picture from April 26, 1949, showing a 23-year-old then-Princess Elizabeth with the Duke of Edinburgh and a baby Prince Charles, was on the Queen’s desk during the broadcast
To mark Charles’s 70th birthday last month the Queen paid tribute to him as a ‘dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history’.
The Queen used a black-tie dinner staged in Charles’s honour to praise him as ‘his own man, passionate and creative’.
She poses for the picture in the White Drawing Room after recording the broadcast in Buckingham Palace’s drawing room on December 12.
For this year’s message she is wearing a cocktail dress designed by her senior dresser Angela Kelly.
The Queen’s outfit also features her gold Scarab brooch, with ruby and diamond embellishments, a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh.
In the background there is a lavishly-decorated Christmas tree and a magnificent gilded piano by S&P Erard which was supplied for Queen Victoria in 1856.
The Queen strikes a serious pose as she urges conciliation after a year of fractious politics dominated by Brexit.
The picture is a contrast to her more cheerful stance in last year’s Christmas broadcast photo in the 1844 Rom.
In that picture she had one of her and Philip’s wedding photos on her desk, along with a more recent photo of the couple and pictures of two of her great-grandchildren.
In 2016 the Queen sat at a desk in the Regency Room, in the year she celebrated her 90th birthday.
2017: The Queen sits at a desk in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, with pictures of two of her great-grandchildren, George and Charlotte, on her desk
2016: The monarch records her Christmas Day broadcast from the Regency Room in Buckingham Palace with a picture of her and Prince Charles on the desk
She was flanked by one photo showing her and Prince Charles while a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh stood on a nearby table.
Now in her 93rd year, the monarch has eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with an eighth on the way as Harry and Meghan are expecting their first child in the spring.
The address is written by the Queen and traditionally has a strong religious framework, mirroring her faith, which reflects on current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year.
The Queen, 92, will say: ‘I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it’s needed as much as ever.’
With parliament deeply divided over Theresa May’s Brexit deal and military conflicts still raging in parts of the world, the monarch’s words are likely to resonate with many.
Politicians on all sides have engaged in bitter wrangling for weeks as the date for Britain leaving the EU – March 29 next year – draws ever closer.