Podcasting has received the royal seal of approval from the Queen, whose Christmas speech will be available to download this year.

Traditionally, the BBC transmits the speech on TV and radio. The speech will also be available in audio and video formats from the BBC's website.

The podcast and online versions of the speech will become available at the same time that the speech is broadcast on TV: 3 pm GMT on Monday.

Interested listeners can sign up for the Royal Podcast now and will receive the latest episode, the Christmas speech, at the time of the broadcast.

Westminster Digital, a streaming media company, is hosting the podcast. The company couldn't reveal how much bandwidth it planned to provision for downloads or how many people had signed up for it so far. The UK government and parliament are among customers of the company's webcasting services.

The queen has broadcast a Christmas message every year since 1952, except for 1969.