It's been 80 years since Britain's royal family began broadcasting a Christmas message — and 60 years since Queen Elizabeth took up the duty. Now, the monarch will deliver her 2012 holiday address in 3-D.
The TV broadcast is the latest innovation for a message that began as a radio transmission by the queen's grandfather, King George V. Queen Elizabeth's Christmas message has also been podcast since 2006; one year later, she took to YouTube to spread her message, according to the British monarchy's website.
But this year's broadcast is not the first time the queen has been filmed in 3-D. That moment came in the summer of 1953, when the coronation of the queen, then 27, was filmed by a two-man crew. Footage of that event, and others from the same summer, wasn't made public until 2009. Here's a clip, which you can fully enjoy if you have 3-D glasses handy:
One of the men who shot that film, Arthur Wooster, recalls that Queen Elizabeth had a knack for the camera — and that at one point in the clip above, with only his crew filming as she approached, the queen obviously noticed their cameras.
"But she didn't allow herself to look at it. She deliberately walked straight past us, giving us one of the few close-up shots ever taken of the young Queen," Wooster, who was 24 at the time, told The Daily Mail. "I was knocked back by her beauty. She radiated film-star quality.'
The British monarchy's website says the queen's 2012 Christmas Day message will be broadcast at 3 p.m. — that's 10 a.m. ET, here in the U.S.
In Britain, the royal Christmas messages are seen a chance for the monarch to communicate directly with the public. Queen Elizabeth reportedly writes her own speeches for the occasion. Here's what the queen told her people back in 1952, according to a transcript of the live radio broadcast:
"Many grave problems and difficulties confront us all, but with a new faith in the old and splendid beliefs given us by our forefathers, and the strength to venture beyond the safeties of the past, I know we shall be worthy of our duty."
"Above all, we must keep alive that courageous spirit of adventure that is the finest quality of youth; and by youth I do not just mean those who are young in years; I mean too all those who are young in heart, no matter how old they may be. That spirit still flourishes in this old country and in all the younger countries of our Commonwealth."
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.