JEREMY Corbyn’s claim that he tunes into the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day has been called into question, but for millions of Britons at home and abroad, the 3pm speech is an intrinsic element of the festivities on December 25.

What did he say?

Mr Corbyn was asked by ITV Tonight if he tunes in with his family to the Queen’s annual seasonal speech and bafflingly said: “It’s on in the morning, usually we have it on…some of the time.”


The speech always airs at 3pm.

He then said?

He watched, “when it’s repeated…in the afternoon”, adding that there was “lots to do” on the day and he likes “to do a bit of exercise on Christmas morning”, as host, Julie Etchingham, said “You don’t watch it do you, Mr Corbyn?”

It’s a historic event?

Whether one is a monarchist or not, the speech has become a part of history.

When did it begin?

The first Christmas Broadcast was delivered by George V in 1932, with the idea having been proposed ten years earlier by John Reith, the Scots managing director of the BBC, who approached the King about making a speech on the newly created radio service. A decade on, the King agreed to inaugurate the Empire Service – now known as the BBC World Service.

It’s always topical?

Each broadcast carefully reflects current issues and concerns looking back across the year and shares the Queen's reflections on what Christmas means to her. Doubtful Prince Andrew will get a mention this year, though.

She writes it herself?

Largely, yes, sometimes with assistance from the Duke of Edinburgh. The catalogue of speeches over the years combined form a chronicle of global, national and personal events which have affected The Queen and her audience.

When did the Queen’s first broadcast air?

In 1952, 11 months after the death of her father, George VI, she gave her first Christmas message from her study at Sandringham, over the radio. By 1957, the broadcast became televised, with the Queen said to have been keen to embrace the new technology.

What did she say on her first TV broadcast?

She made reference to the technology, saying: “I very much hope this new medium will make my message more personal and direct. It’s inevitable that I should seem a rather remote figure to many of you, but now, at least for a few minutes, I welcome you to the peace of my own home.”

It has always aired on Christmas Day?

Every year, with the exception of 1969, when no message was given because a special documentary, Royal Family, had been made over the summer, tied in with the investiture of the Prince of Wales and it was decided to publish a written message instead.

How many people watch?

The Queen’s Speech was the most watched TV programme on Christmas Day last year, with a combined audience of 6.4 million across the BBC One, ITV, Sky One and Sky News channels.