• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Queen was absolutely brilliant at Christmas speech says photographer

Dec 25, 2022

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King Charles, 74, will be performing the King’s Christmas Speech today at 3pm, however, he recorded it a few weeks ago according to an insider. A retired PA photographer has spoken about what it was really like behind the scenes when Queen Elizabeth would record her Christmas message.

John Stillwell, a retired royal photographer, has taken some of the most iconic photographs of the Royal Family for the last 30 years.

He had the privilege of witnessing the late Queen record her Christmas messages for nearly a decade.

He recently gave a real insight into what happened inside Buckingham Palace during the various recordings.

Mr Stillwell said: “They would record it [Christmas speech] and it’s normally two weeks before Christmas.

“She would come in; she would obviously know the lines. She had an autocue, so she would read from an autocue, and she’d always do it the first time.

“Never made a mistake. She was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant,” he told Hello.

He went on to add: “Once that was finished, the camera that filmed her making the speech would be taken away and I would take up exactly the same position.

“So, you got the same view. I would take her pictures; I would only be seconds taking it.”

In 2021, the late Queen gave what would become her very last Christmas speech before she sadly died in September of the following year.

Body language expert Judi James spoke to Express.co.uk at the time about the late Queen’s Speech and what signals she was trying to demonstrate.

Judi said: “Has the Queen’s projected, visual impact and messaging ever been quite as important as it has this year?

“Her most iconic image to date for 2021 has been the tragic one of her sitting alone and hunched, dressed in top to toe black at her husband’s funeral.

“For her Christmas message though she thankfully and probably deliberately presented a very different image.

“She is dressed in simple but stunning red to signal love, renewal, warmth and strong emotion and with the brooch, she wore on her honeymoon and then again in more recent photos with Philip pinned alongside her signature pearls.

“Sitting front-on to the camera she meets it with an upright pose, immaculate grooming and an uncompromising and strong-looking stare.

“Behind her, despite the fact that, like many of us, she will be missing seeing her usual relatives this year, there is a bank of warm golden lights in what looks like a happily decorated Christmas room.

“This look signals continuity, resilience and even defiance and, thanks to Covid, it is as usual perfectly pitched in terms of motivating the public to get through the next few months.

“While our politicians appear on our screens looking apologetic and dishevelled with accusations of rule-breaking diminishing their credibility, the Queen is now showing as the beacon of solid determination, despite a year of grief, illness and her ongoing family rifts.”

The “rule-breaking” refers to the alleged Christmas party which took place on December 17, 2020 with Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, who reportedly attended with a team of his officials.

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