Which British monarch was the first to make a Christmas Day broadcast?
The Queen's Christmas Message (also known as The King's Christmas Message in the reign of a male monarch, formally as Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech) is a broadcast made by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms to the Commonwealth of Nations each Christmas. The tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V on the British Broadcasting Corporation's Empire Service. Since 1952, the message has been read by Elizabeth II; today, it is broadcast on television, radio, and the Internet via various providers.
The idea for a Christmas message from the sovereign to the British Empire was first proposed by the "founding father" of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), John Reith, in 1922 when he approached King George V about making a short broadcast on the newly created radio service. The King declined, however, believing that radio was mainly an entertainment. Reith approached the King again ten years later, in 1932, as a way to inaugurate the Empire Service (now the World Service) and the King finally agreed after being encouraged to do so by Queen Mary and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. That year, George V read the first Royal Christmas Message; the King was originally hesitant about using the relatively untested medium of radio, but was reassured after a summertime visit to the BBC and agreed to carry out the concept and read the speech from a temporary studio set up at Sandringham House.