Buckingham Palace has refused to deny reports that the Queen is delaying the recording of her Christmas speech until after a decision on a Brexit deal is reached.
The monarch usually films the annual address in early to mid December, but has reportedly pushed back the recording to next week due to uncertainty about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, after the deadline for a deal passed.
However, yet another deadline for trade negotiations with the bloc has now been missed, after both parties agreed “go the extra mile” on Sunday and resume talks in Brussels. While Boris Johnson downplayed expectations, telling ministers to prepare for a no-deal exit when the transition period ends in three weeks’ time, the European commission said that “progress has been made” and that “the next days will be important”.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told the Guardian the reports, published in the Daily Mail, were “a load of speculation which we wouldn’t give any credibility to by commenting on. The filming date was set a number of weeks ago”.
Last year, the monarch used her annual Christmas message to acknowledge a “quite bumpy” path during a turbulent year for both the monarchy and the nation. Among the controversies of 2019 Prince Philip faced a police investigation over a car crash in which two women were injured and Prince Andrew stepped down from public duties after the fallout from an interview about his friendship with the convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. This year, the monarch will inevitably discuss the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the UK.