By Leah Sarnoff, ETOnline.com.

King Charles III delivered his historic, first Christmas address since Queen Elizabeth II‘s death. The newly appointed monarch released the pre-taped speech from St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Sunday.

The King’s holiday address opened with a powerful rendition of “God Save the King.” He continued to mourn the recent death of Queen Elizabeth and extend gratitude for those who shared in his family’s grieving and then went on to highlight the work the royal family has done for the Commonwealth.

“I am standing here in this exquisite chapel of St. George in Windsor Castle so close to where my beloved mother, the late queen, is laid to rest with my dear father,” he said. “I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself. And I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.”

“Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition,” he added.

Queen Elizabeth II died in September of this year and Her Majesty’s final resting place, St George’s Chapel in Windsor, was a meaningful choice for the king’s first Christmas address.

The King went on to extend gratitude for those working in public service such as the armed forces, emergency service providers, healthcare professionals, teachers and beyond.

“It is a belief that the extraordinary ability for each person to touch with goodness and compassion the lives of others and to shine a light in the world around them. This is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society,” he shared.

Highlighting his son and daughter-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s service in the royal family, the address showcased footage of them visiting Wales. “The Prince and Princess of Wales recently visited Wales, shining a light on practical examples of this community spirit,” he said.

To conclude his address King Charles said powerfully, “With all my heart I wish each of you the Christmas of peace, happiness, and everlasting life.”

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Ellen Bullock