The Queen in the Long Library at Sandringham after making the first televised Christmas day broadcast to the nation in 1957Credit:PA The custom of a Royal Christmas address was came into force for good in 1939, when King George VI wanted to boost morale during WWII. The Queen has given an address every year since 1952, apart from one – in 1969. In 1969, the Queen decided to write a Christmas message instead of broadcasting one. This was apparently because the Royals felt that they had been in the spotlight too much, after the release of the documentary film ‘Royal Family.’ It was also the same year as Prince Charles’ investiture. The Queen wrote ‘I want you all to know that my good wishes are no less warm and personal because they come to you in a different form.’ During the 1957 broadcast, some viewers complained that their radio transmissions were interrupted by an American police radio frequency. One instance of interference included a police officer saying “Joe, I’m gonna grab a quick coffee.” 1992 was described as an “annus horribilis,” by Her Majesty. In a year where the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew fell apart as well as a large fire at Windsor Castle, The Sun leaked the speech two days early. The Queen sued, and the paper paid £200,000 to charity. Between 1986 and 1991, David Attenborough produced the Queen’s Christmas address. In 1989 Elizabeth II read part of her speech in front of an audience at the Royal Albert Hall. This was the first time that an audience had heard the speech prior to broadcast. The Queen writes her Christmas address herself. Rather than using a script writer she is believed to sit with advisors and put forward her ideas and words. The broadcast is filmed at Buckingham Palace, or one of the Queen’s other properties a few days before Christmas. The idea for a Royal Christmas address came from Sir John Reith, founder of the BBC The time of 3pm was chosen so that all parts of the commonwealth could listen or watch at a reasonable hour. Today, the message is broadcast to New Zealand at 6:50pm local time, Australia at 7:20pm local time and Canada at midday, local time, as well as live on the Royal’s YouTube channel. The Christmas address was broadcast on radio or television exclusively by the BBC until 1997. Since then, the production has rotated every two years between ITV, and from 2011, Sky News. In 2015, the Queen’s message was the most watched Christmas Day programme, pulling in 7.5 million viewers in total, beating Downton Abbey’s 6.9 million.Who writes the speech?While poet and author Rudyard Kipling drafted the first speech for King George V, the Queen writes her own Christmas speeches and it is one of only a few instances where she is able to speak publicly without any advice from her ministers.Planning begins months earlier once the Queen decides on her theme of the year. From there appropriate archive footage is collected and assembled for the speech which is recorded a few days before Christmas. Queen Elizabeth II making her first ever Christmas broadcast to the nation from Sandringham HouseCredit:Getty Every year, at 3pm on Christmas Day, millions of us around the country turn on the radio or television, take off our party hats, and listen to the Queen’s Christmas message.But what are the origins? Why did we hear American police officers in 1957? And which phrases does the Queen reuse the most?Here are 30 things you might not have known about the Queen’s Christmas Day address: ‘The Queen’s Speech’ is not actually called ‘The Queen’s Speech.’ The formal name given to the event is ‘Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech.’ The first ever Christmas address, by King George V started: “I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them.” The first Royal Christmas address was written by Rudyard Kipling, in 1932 and delivered by Elizabeth II’s grandfather King George V. The first Christmas address was 251 words long. Queen Elizabeth II averages 656 words. There was no broadcast in 1936 or 1938 because the annual tradition was not yet established. When and where can I watch or listen to it?The Queen’s Christmas Message is embargoed until 3pm on Christmas Day. It is then broadcast on BBC One, ITV, Sky 1, and Sky News from 3pm until 3.10pm. You can also listen to it on BBC Radio 4. Queen Elizabeth II delivers her 2007 Christmas speech in the 1844 Room at Buckingham PalaceCredit:Steve Parsons/PA Why is it done?King George V’s original Christmas speech in 1932 was intended to be a one-off event as a way to inaugurate the BBC World Service, but over the years it has become one of the most important events in the royal calendar, and a Christmas staple for those living in the Commonwealth.It was firmly established as tradition during the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 where King George VI, in his first Christmas as the King, sought to reassure people and boost morale.What did she say in last year’s speech?Reflecting on a year of terror attacks including the events in Paris and Tunisia, the Queen used her 2015 Christmas Day broadcast to make one of her most “overtly religious” addresses to the nation in many years. What is the Alternative Christmas Message?Since 1993 Channel 4 has been broadcasting an alternative Christmas message to the Queen’s Christmas Message broadcast on BBC, ITV, and Sky.Sometimes it is a humorous message – Marge and Lisa Simpson gave the speech in 2004, where they compared the “special relationship” between the UK and the US to the relationship between Mini Me and Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films.Other times the message is a serious one. In 2013 Edward Snowden delivered the message and urged the government put an end to mass surveillance, while Abdullah Kurdi, father of Alan Kurdi, the young Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, gave the speech in 2015. What is the Queen’s Christmas Message?The Queen’s Christmas Message is a broadcast made by the monarch to the 52 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations each Christmas.Originally called the King’s Christmas Message when the tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V, the message has been read by Queen Elizabeth II since 1952.The Queen typically uses the speech as a chance to reflect on the year and the major events that have occurred throughout it. She also makes a comment on her own personal milestones of the year and expresses her opinion on Christmas in general. Queen Elizabeth II making her Christmas broadcast to the peoples of the British Commonwealth from New Zealand in 1953Credit:PA Quoting directly from the Bible, she said: “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.” In her first Christmas address, the Queen described the British Commonwealth and Empire as an “immense union of nations” which “can be a great power for good – a force which I believe can be of immeasurable benefit to all humanity.” The highest ratings for the Christmas address came in 1980, when an extraordinary 28 million people turned onto the BBC at 3pm. According to mathematicians at UCL, The Queen has said 42,000 words during her Christmas addresses. But…only 3991 are distinct – meaning she has used 90% of the words more than once in a Christmas Address. This high percentage of recycled vocabulary is comparable to rappers Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, in their music catalogues. Although their language is rather more colourful, the Queen likes to repeat the phrases ‘shining example’ ‘weak and innocent’ and ‘the Commonwealth.’ In 1952 the broadcast was shown on television for the first time, but with sound only. The first broadcast in colour came in 1967, the same year as the Queen had taken part in a five week tour of Canada. In 1975, the Broadcast was filmed outside for the first time, in the Buckingham Palace gardens. 2015 also saw the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, something the Queen also touched on in her speech: “One cause for thankfulness this summer was marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War. On VJ Day, we honoured the remaining veterans of that terrible conflict in the Far East, as well as remembering the thousands who never returned.”Acknowledging the birth of Princess Charlotte in May, the Queen also added: “One of the joys of living a long life is watching one’s children, then grandchildren, then great grandchildren, help decorate the Christmas tree. And this year my family has a new member to join in the fun!” 2006 was the first year in which you could download the speech as a podcast. In 2012, Sky News produced the christmas address in 3D. Viewers were able to see the Queen donning a pair of 3D glasses, rather different to her usual rimless spectacles. This year, the broadcast will be live on Facebook and Youtube as well as television and radio.