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Queen Elizabeth’s First Televised Broadcast Presented a New Type of Monarch

King George V may have invented the tradition of delivering a Christmas Day message to the subjects of the British monarchy worldwide in 1932, but it was his granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, who first televised the annual event 25 years later.

While George’s speeches were radio broadcasts, as were Elizabeth’s first addresses from 1952-1956, her historic 1957 speech aired on live TV from her home in Sandringham. The broadcasts offered viewers a rare, humanizing glimpse inside her residence and at her mannerisms, while reaching a vast audience. In her first broadcast, Elizabeth also noted that the monarch’s role had shifted from ruler to one of symbolic support for the kingdom’s people.

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