Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day Broadcast Can Be Heard Via Alexa

Royal tradition meets ubiquitous technology

Audiences at Buckingham Palace 2020
Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen by videolink from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive Ambassador of Belgium Bruno van der Pluijm and Hildegarde Van de Voorde.
Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In 1932, King George V delivered the first Christmas Day broadcast to the British people, setting in motion a tradition that’s lasted until the present day. Since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has been the one to deliver it every year since — with the exception of 1969, when no broadcast was made. Fun fact: the 2012 broadcast was in 3-D.

The Royal Family’s website notes that the broadcast finds the Queen speaking about subjects generally unrelated to the business of government: “The Queen gives her own views on events and developments which are of concern both to Her Majesty and her public, in the UK and wider afield in the Commonwealth.” And this year, the broadcast will be available via another medium: Amazon Alexa.

After 3 PM (GMT), you’ll be able to say “Alexa, play the Queen’s Christmas Day message” if you’re curious and have a device running Alexa. This is not limited to residents of the UK, or to the Commonwealth as a whole.

All in all, it’s an interesting combination of historical tradition and technological sophistication. What will the Queen have to say? We’ll know n a few more days.

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