MILLIONS of people gathered to watch the Queen’s annual Christmas Broadcast on Christmas Day – but this year’s speech has sparked some backlash on social media.
Some viewers were quick to point out that the 92-year-old monarch spoke about social issues in the nation, while perched in front of an ornate golden piano.
Some TV viewers slammed the Queen for choosing to have a gold piano in the background of her Christmas Day speech[/caption]
The Queen made her annual address in the spectacular White Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace, while she discussed heavy subjects such as “tribalism”.
The piano in question – which was bought by Queen Victoria in 1856 – has a gold leaf finish and was made by the French firm Erard, which made instruments used by Chopin.
The Queen may not have addressed poverty directly, but some said the choice of sumptuous backdrop was “tone deaf” to her message.
One viewer wrote: “I liked the bit where she was sitting on a gold chair in a gold room with her gold fire guard and gold clock in front of a gold mirror beside the gold piano writing with her gold pen next to the gold picture frame wearing her gold bracelet talking about poverty #QueensSpeech”.
Meanwhile another joked: “Nothing like bling on the tele to brighten up christmas for the poor.”
And one added: “What? Doesn’t everyone have a gold piano in the front room?”
But many were quick to support the Queen and ask why people are surprised at the backdrop.
One person commented: “Lol, it’s a palace for the queen/king…what do you expect, for her to give her speech from a travel lodge.”
And another Twitter user added: “Also it’s all relative. What we have compared to the poor, starving and needy is lavish. Our 50 inch telly, the fact we’ve stuffed ourselves over Xmas and given unnecessary presents. I bet not many of us have even given one sprout to the needy. Hypocrisy and faux shock.”
Numerous Twitter users were quick to criticise her lavish backdrop[/caption]
The broadcast was recorded two weeks ago in Buckingham Palace’s White Drawing Room, surrounded by family photos.
In her speech, Her Majesty addressed the nation, saying various family weddings and births have kept her “well occupied” in 2018 – as Meghan and Kate put on a united front after feud rumours.
Bringing a touch of humour to her televised address, the Queen said: “Closer to home, it’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies and another child expected soon.
“It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied.”
A HISTORY OF THE QUEEN'S GOLDEN PIANO
- The piano was bought for the palace in 1856 by Queen Victoria, and was often used by her.
- The value of the piano is uncertain, but similar pieces from Erards from the time period can fetch around £138,000.
- It was made by S&P Erard and is made of painted and varnished mahogany, satinwood and pine and has a gilded (decorated with gold leaf) finish.
- It has flowers and monkeys playing musical instruments all over it.
- The lid is said to look odd because she asked the makers to incorporate the much older lid of a beloved harpsichord she had played as a girl.
The Queen also remembered her father, George VI, reflecting on his service with the Royal Navy during the First World War and the role he played in the early years of the Commonwealth.
She added that the Commonwealth now consists of 53 member countries with a combined population of 2.4 billion.
Footage was shown of a “thrilling” RAF fly-past, celebrating the air force’s centenary by forming the number “100” earlier this year, the Queen said: “We owe them and all our armed services our deepest gratitude.”
As Parliament remains divided over Brexit and with military conflicts still raging in parts of the world, the monarch’s message appeared to touch on such issues.
Sitting at a desk and with a Christmas tree in the background, she said: “Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom. I’d like to think so.
“Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognise some of life’s baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good, and yet a capacity for evil.
“Even the power of faith, which frequently inspires great generosity and self-sacrifice, can fall victim to tribalism.”
The Queen’s eye-catching gilded piano was made for Queen Victoria in 1856[/caption]
The Queen has had a memorable 2018, with two of her grandchildren – the Duke of Cambridge and Zara Tindall – welcoming new additions to their families.
Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in May, announcing soon afterwards that were expecting their first child, and granddaughter Princess Eugenie wed long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank.
It comes amid rumours the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge have struggled to get along – with sources saying they’re “very different people”.
The Queen referenced her grandson Harry’s marriage to Meghan in May[/caption]
Footage of Princess Eugenie’s wedding was also included in the broadcast[/caption]
The Queen spoke of having loved ones around her: “Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.”
The speech, which started and ended with singing from Cambridge’s King’s College choir, was recorded on December 12 and was produced by Sky News.
A combined audience of 6.4 million people watched the speech on BBC One, ITV, Sky One and Sky News.
THE QUEEN'S CHRISTMAS SPEECH IN FULL
“For many, the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, is when Christmas begins. Listened to by millions of people around the world, it starts with a chorister singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City.
“The priest who introduced this service to King’s College chapel, exactly one hundred years ago, was Eric Milner-White. He had served as a military chaplain in the First World War. Just six weeks after the Armistice, he wanted a new kind of service which, with its message of peace and goodwill, spoke to the needs of the times.
“Twenty eighteen has been a year of centenaries. The Royal Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary with a memorable fly-past demonstrating a thrilling unity of purpose and execution. We owe them and all our Armed Services our deepest gratitude.
“My father served in the Royal Navy during the First World War. He was a midshipman in HMS Collingwood at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. The British fleet lost 14 ships and 6,000 men in that engagement. My father wrote in a letter: ‘How and why we were not hit beats me’. Like others, he lost friends in the war.
“At Christmas, we become keenly aware of loved ones who have died, whatever the circumstances. But, of course, we would not grieve if we did not love.
“Closer to home, it’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied. We have had other celebrations too, including the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales.
“Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom. I’d like to think so. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognise some of life’s baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good, and yet a capacity for evil. Even the power of faith, which frequently inspires great generosity and self-sacrifice, can fall victim to tribalism.
“But through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.
“In April, the Commonwealth Heads of Government met in London. My father welcomed just eight countries to the first such meeting in 1948. Now the Commonwealth includes 53 countries with 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population.
“Its strength lies in the bonds of affection it promotes, and a common desire to live in a better, more peaceful world. Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.
“Indeed, the Commonwealth Games, held this year on Australia’s Gold Coast, are known universally as the Friendly Games because of their emphasis on goodwill and mutual respect.
“The Christmas story retains its appeal since it doesn’t provide theoretical explanations for the puzzles of life. Instead it’s about the birth of a child and the hope that birth 2,000 years ago brought to the world. Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now billions follow him.
“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.
“A very happy Christmas to you all.”
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