Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas address is one of the many traditions that Brits enjoy year after year. The tradition didn’t start with the longest-reigning monarch, however. The Christmas Day address dates back to 1932 when Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, first delivered it. Using the radio to communicate was still fairly new. No one had any idea that the address, which reached 20 million people, would become a beloved tradition.
Queen Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas address 25 years later, in 1952. In 1957, the royal family began televising the address, with it going HD in 2012. The royal family recently shared a clip from that first televised address on Instagram, with a link to it in full on YouTube. The Queen has delivered an address every year since. The only exception was 1969, when a documentary about the royal family was televised instead. Whether she delivers the address from Buckingham Palace or Southwark Cathedral, the Queen has delivered messages of peace and unity that comfort an entire nation.