27 Dec, 2023 @ 19:00
2 mins read

‘Buckingham Palace humiliates Palace of Zarzuela’: An expert compares the Spanish and British kings’ Christmas Day speeches and gives THIS advice

KING Felipe’s Christmas Day speech was roundly criticised in Spain for being, among other things, too long and boring.

It was compared unfavourably to his English counterpart’s speech, which was lauded for its exemplary style, brevity and delivery.

Patrycia Centeno, a journalist and body language expert, laid into her own king’s speech with a number of gripes, starting with the Spanish flag in the background.

“There is no flag [in King Charles’ speech] because the king is already the symbol of the nation,” she observed.

King Charles’ speech was lauded for being well-produced, visually stimulating, the right length and well delivered

“Placing the flag is repetitive or visual evidence of insecurity in what is being represented,” she added.

King Charles III, standing next to a Christmas tree, one hand resting on a chair, the Memorial to Queen Victoria visible out of the window, cut a more welcoming figure.

For his speech, the camera framed from above the waist to hide his ‘sausage fingers’, as Charles has joked about himself.

He then delivered his speech using expressive facial expressions that had been honed by a background in performing arts. 

King Felipe VI, meanwhile, came across as more static and less engaging. He was sat down with his legs crossed in a wide shot, devoid of dynamic body language.

King Felipe’s speech was slammed his its lack of dynamism, its use of flags and its length

The English king’s message was a crisp 4-minute speech that engaged viewers and finished before they had a chance to nod off. 

“No one can stomach a speech longer than four minutes, Zarzuela!” Centeno wrote, in reference to the Spanish royal palace.

The use of images of the British royal family and a concluding choir performance expanded the total runtime to 8 minutes.

On the other hand, King Felipe VI’s longer, 11-minute dirge, which was dedicated to the Spanish constitution, lacked an inspiring message.

Charles dedicated his speech to Christmas, social volunteering and the environment, as well as praying for peace and an end to conflict.

Meanwhile, Felipe called on Spanish institutions to adhere to their constitutional roles and urged society to avoid ‘grounds for discord.’

Centeno also noted that each year a different television network produces the royal speech – this year being ITN, who compete with Sky and the BBC to put on the best show.

“Hello TVE!!” she added to the Spanish broadcaster that films the Spanish royal speech.

Finally, she lauded the musical display by the Royal Guard, filmed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to introduce the English King.

“This is not an episode of The Crown – it is the intro Christmas message from Charles III.”


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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