LONDON (AP) — King Charles III reflected on the coronation theme of his public service Monday in a Christmas message he linked to the health of the planet and raging wars.
In a video filmed standing by the Christmas tree at Buckingham Palace, the monarch spoke of Jesus' message of life in serving the less fortunate as he paid tribute to the “selfless army” who are the “backbone of our society” helping others. .
“My heart is warmed by the countless examples of imaginative ways people care for one another, going the extra mile to help those around them, because they know it's the right thing to do,” she said.
It will be the monarch's second Christmas speech since he ascended the throne after the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, in September 2022, but the first time he has been officially crowned in an interim ceremony since his coronation in May.
A long-time campaigner for environmental causes, Charles recently told foreign leaders at the COP28 climate meeting that meeting climate targets was “terribly far off”, as he encouraged awareness of the need to protect the Earth.
“Maintenance of this creation belongs to all religions and belongs to none,” he said. “We care for the earth for our children's children.”
In his own gesture towards sustainability, the evergreen next to him is decorated with natural decorations made of wood, dried oranges, pinecones and paper. The tree, which first lived in the palace, was to be replanted after the holidays.
As Charles spoke, the video showed highlights of his past year, including helping to plant a tree during a trip to Kenya – his first state visit as monarch alongside Queen Camilla to a Commonwealth country.
It also features footage of his coronation where he declares, “I have not come to serve, I have come to serve.” Another clip showed his eldest son, Prince William, heir to the throne, his wife, Kate, Princess of Wales, and their three children taking on the task by helping to rebuild a scout hut. Coronation.
Her estranged son Prince Harry, who left the senior royal family when he visited the US in 2020 with his wife Meghan, was not featured in the video. Arriving alone at the coronation and sitting in the third row, Harry fueled the tension with his best-selling memoir “Spare”, published earlier that year.
A reference to the wars in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas, at a time of “increasingly tragic conflicts around the world,” Charles invoked Christ's words to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
“They remind us to imagine ourselves in our neighbors' shoes and to seek their good as much as our own,” he said. “My heart and gratitude go out to all those who serve one another, to all those who look after our common home, to all those who see and seek the well-being of others, not least the friend we do not yet know.”
Biggest Coronation Moments: King Charles and Camilla were crowned and Prince Harry arrived