Queen puts up 20ft Christmas tree at Windsor Castle ahead of ‘quiet’ festive season

Sarah Young
·3 min read
 (PA)
(PA)

The Queen has had Christmas decorations installed at Windsor Castle, where she and the Duke of Edinburgh are planning to spend the festive period for the first time in more than 30 years.

The castle is decorated for Christmas every December, despite Her Majesty traditionally spending the season at Sandringham.

Every year, visitors are able to see the castle decked out, and despite nationwide restrictions, 2020 is no different.

People can visit Windsor Castle to see the festive displays from Thursday 3 December, but this will mark the first time the Queen will see it in all its festive glory on Christmas day since 1987.

On Wednesday, the Royal Collection Trust, which manages Windsor Castle, shared behind-the-scenes photos of the Christmas decorations, which include a 20ft tree that was felled from Windsor Great Park – a tradition that has been upheld since the reign of Queen Victoria.

The main attraction sits in the castle’s largest room, St George’s Hall, and is adorned with 3,000 lights and hundreds of iridescent glass, red and gold mirrored ornaments.

As well as the large tree, the castle’s inner hall also features a supersized version and there are several smaller trees dotted around the castle.

<p>Royal Collection Trust staff decorate the 20-foot-high Christmas tree in St George's Hall, the largest room in Windsor Castle</p>PA

Royal Collection Trust staff decorate the 20-foot-high Christmas tree in St George's Hall, the largest room in Windsor Castle

PA
<p>The tree was felled from Windsor Great Park</p>PA

The tree was felled from Windsor Great Park

PA

Christmas trees are grown at both Windsor Castle and on the Sandringham Estate, with the Queen usually getting the first pick of the bunch when she is in Norfolk. Hundreds of sustainable trees are sold at Windsor Great Park every year.

There are also festive garlands on the staircases and special displays to mark the bicentenary of King George V’s ascension to the throne.

The State Dining Room table has been laid with a display of George V’s silver-gilt Grand Service, which consists of more than 4,000 pieces. Some of them are still used in state banquets now.

<p>A Royal Collection Trust curator puts the finishing touches on a special display of the silver-gilt Grand Service in the State Dining Room at Windsor Castle</p>PA

A Royal Collection Trust curator puts the finishing touches on a special display of the silver-gilt Grand Service in the State Dining Room at Windsor Castle

PA

The photos come after Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen and Prince Philip have opted for a “quiet” Christmas in Berkshire, instead of their usual festivities in Norfolk.

“Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor,” a palace spokesperson said.

Windsor Castle was the home for royal Christmas celebrations in the 1950s and 1960s, when Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward were children.

<p>Several smaller Christmas trees line the Queen's Gallery at Windsor Castle</p>PA

Several smaller Christmas trees line the Queen's Gallery at Windsor Castle

PA
<p>Festive garlands adorn the Grand Staircase at Windsor Castle</p>PA

Festive garlands adorn the Grand Staircase at Windsor Castle

PA

But since 1988, the festivities have been held in Sandringham, which was the preferred royal spot for previous kings Edward VII, George V and George VI.

HRH usually spends weekends at Windsor Castle when she is working in London during the week. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the monarch has spent most of her time there alongside Prince Philip.

The palace has not announced if any other households will be joining the royal couple at Windsor, after the UK government announced that up to three households can spend the festive period together to form a “Christmas bubble” from 23 until 27 December.

You can read more about which members of the royal family could spend the festive season with the Queen here.

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