Every year at 3pm on Christmas Day we gather as a nation in front of our televisions to watch the Queen deliver her Christmas speech.
Perhaps you view it laying comatose on the sofa digesting the third helping of Christmas lunch you promised yourself you would not have this year.
Or maybe you watch waiting patiently for the meal that was promised to be on the table an hour ago, but by now can actually see the bottom of the Quality Street family box.
In whichever fashion you watch the Queen’s Christmas speech it is safe to say it provides a familiar sense of comfort to all of us.
Sheila Elizabeth Sheldon, 91, a faithful supporter of the Queen said: “I can remember always listening to the Christmas speeches from when it first started. It is always there, and it is a sort of constant.
“The last one the Queen did, and the year before, during the difficult time of the last two years, I think she has been absolutely spot on.
“She’s always been there throughout my life, and she has been responsible for a lot, no one would have thought she was going to be the Queen, but it was the role she was born for.”
In 1952, comfort and familiarity were undoubtedly not experienced by Elizabeth II as she sat at her late father’s desk to deliver her first festive message.
The future Queen asked the nation for support awaiting her coronation: “To pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve him and you, all the days of my life.”
Later in 1992, labelled, ‘annus horribilis’, the Queen witnessed the breakdown of three royal marriages, and the burning down of much of Windsor Castle.
Despite being a leader who many turn to for reassurance during turbulent times, Elizabeth II found consolation in her people: “The prayers, understanding, and sympathy given to us by so many of you, in good times and bad, have lent us great support and encouragement. It has touched me deeply that much of this has come from those of you who have troubles of your own.”
After sixty-nine years, Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas speech in 2021 once again followed the death of an important man in her life, her husband Prince Philip.
The Queen continued to grace our screens with the Christmas spirit of hope and cheer: “Be it the singing of carols, as long as the tune is well known, decorating the tree, giving and receiving presents or watching a favourite film where we already know the ending.
“It’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.”
The Queen’s speech has been a treasured part the nation’s Christmas routine for many years and will be remembered for many to come.