Toys and Fun
If you, like me, were addicted to Netflix’s The Crown and didn’t leave the comfort of your couch for many hours because you were binging it, you might also gasp in delight at this news. On Christmas day, you’ll be able to have your own The Crown moment with the real Queen Elizabeth II, courtesy of Alexa.
Fans of the show will recall watching the queen deliver a Christmas broadcast on the radio and on TV. In these modern times, however, we can go a step further and ask to listen to the queen’s message on demand using only our voice. Per the Guardian, on Dec. 25 Amazon Echo users will simply have to say, “Alexa, play the queen’s Christmas day message,” to listen to the broadcast.
Yes, I am perfectly aware that you can still watch it on TV, listen to it on the radio, or even pull it up on YouTube, but the idea of asking Alexa to play the broadcast from whatever room I’m in still makes me giddy (and a little lazy).
“After a challenging year, millions of people from across the Commonwealth will be eagerly awaiting Her Majesty the Queen’s message on Christmas Day,” Alexa Europe director Eric King said. “By creating this world-first innovation, just as we did in 2012 with the release of the Queen’s Christmas speech on Kindle, we hope that even more people will be able to enjoy the uplifting words of Her Majesty.”
There are some limitations, though. Echo users will have to have their Echo set to English, which also means the request is open to people outside of the UK. (My Alexa is bilingual in Spanish and English, but I am seriously wondering if this will work since I tend to only speak to her Spanish). People will be able to ask Alexa to play the queen’s Christmas message beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
If you don’t have an Echo device and still really want to listen to the queen’s Christmas message via a smart device, you still have some luck if you have a Google Home, although time does matter here. The Guardian reports that all you need to do is ask Google Home to tune into a radio station that’s broadcasting the speech, such as BBC Radio 4.
The first royal broadcast was delivered by King George V, the queen’s grandfather, in 1932. The queen broadcast her first Christmas message, which focuses on current issues, concerns, and what the holiday means to her, in 1952, according to the Royal Household. You can check out all of the transcripts of the queen’s Christmas messages—she’s only ever missed one in 1969, and never did so again at the concern it provoked—here.