The Queen, in her Christmas Day message to the Commonwealth, broadcast from Sandringham on TV and radio, said: “A happy Christmas to you all.
“Every year I look forward to opening the letters, parcels and telegrams that come to me from all parts of the world. My husband and children join me in thanking all of you who have sent us your good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
“Some of you have written to say that you would like to see our children on television this afternoon. We value your interest in them and I can assure you that we have thought about this a great deal before deciding against.
“We would like our son and daughter to grow up as normally as possible so that they will be able to serve you and the Commonwealth faithfully and well when they are old enough to do so. We believe that public life is not a fair burden to place on growing children. I’m sure that all of you who are parents will understand.”
The Queen spoke from the long library at Sandringham House – her country home in Norfolk. It was the second time her Christmas broadcast had been televised.
The Queen’s message lasted five minutes. It was given worldwide coverage. It was carried on the BBC Home Service, Light Programme, external services and on TV, which was also made available to the Independent Television.
BBC telerecordings were being flown to Canada and Australia shortly after the broadcast.
A slight hitch meant that millions of radio listeners in Britain, the Commonwealth and other parts of the world missed hearing the Queen start her message with the words: “A happy Christmas to you all.” The two following words “every year...” were also unheard. Otherwise the speech went off perfectly.