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Royal Central’s Countdown to Christmas: Day Four

It’s the 4th December and Royal Central’s very own advent calendar continues. So as you frantically search for that last minute gift, begin to think about Christmas dinner and get excited for your works Christmas party- sit back for a minute as Royal Central opens its fourth door on our very unique Countdown to Christmas.

The year we are looking at today is the year of the very first Christmas broadcast, 1932.


The King was initially hesitant about delivering the first Royal Christmas Message, especially using the relatively untried medium of radio. King George V was convinced to deliver the message after a visit to the BBC in the summer of 1932 and consequently on Christmas Day 1932, the Christmas Message was born. Two rooms at Sandringham House were converted into temporary broadcasting rooms and 3pm was the time chosen for transmission- mainly because it was the best time for reaching most of the countries in the Empire by short waves from the transmitters in Britain. The King’s first Christmas speech was written by Rudyard Kipling and began with the words, “I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all”.

Hear a part of that message below:

 And what happened in that year?
  • 24th January- Inmates at Dartmoor Prison stage a mutiny.
  • 4th February- Great Britain and Northern Ireland begin competing at the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. They do not win any medals.
  • 15th March- The first broadcast came from the newly opened Broadcasting House.
  • 6th April- Ministry of Health encourages local councils to engage in widespread slum clearance.
  • 10th May- James Chadwick discovers the neutron.
  • 4th July- George Carwardine patents the Anglepoise lamp.
  • 22nd August- The first experimental television broadcast by the BBC.
  • 26th September- First contingent of the National Hunger March leaves Glasgow.
  • 7th October- Thomas Beecham establishes the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • 14th November- Book tokens go on sale in the UK.
  • 19th December- The BBC Empire Service begins broadcasting.
And just what happened Royally?
  • On 1st January, King George V declared his only Daughter, Princess Mary, should bear the title Princess Royal.
  • King George V delivered the first Christmas message
    King George V delivered the first Christmas message

    In March, the people of Wales presented Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret with a tiny straw thatched cottage called ‘Y Bwthyn Bach’.

  • Queen Mary’s Gardens opened in this year.
  • Prince George, Duke of Kent was appointed as Royal Bencher of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
  • The Prince of Wales inspects the Home Fleet.
  • On 19th July, King George V opened the replacement Lambeth Bridge.
  • The Prince of Wales pays his first visit to A.R.P studios.
  • On December 25th, King George V gives the first Christmas message.

Featured Photo Credit: ogoco
Photo Credit: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library via photopin cc

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