When the royals do Christmas, they do it right. Once again, they've have released photos of their stunning holiday decor at Windsor Castle—and it's quite a sight to behold.
The centerpiece of the display is a 20-foot Nordmann Fir, sourced from the nearby Windsor Great Park. The tree is positioned in the St. George's Hall, and decorated with hundreds of ornaments. A slightly smaller 15-foot fir was placed in the Crimson Drawing Room.
This year's display also takes on a historical bent, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's births: in the Octagon Dining Room, a series of gifts the couple gave to each other for Christmas are on display.
Famously, Victoria and Albert had a hand in creating the Christmas traditions we know today. Thanks to her German origin, Victoria's mother had brought in yew trees for the holidays, but Victoria and Albert really made the trend catch on in 1848. That year, Albert sent decorated trees to nearby schools and army barracks—but it was an engraving, featuring the royal family gathered around a Christmas tree, that really made the trend take off.
And it wasn't just for show: it seems that the royals were quite taken with celebrating the holiday as a family. "Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brought the tree into Windsor Castle on Christmas Eve and they would decorate it themselves,"Royal Collection curator Kathryn Jones explained to the BBC. "They would light the candles and put gingerbread on the tree and the children would be brought in."
So, while the modern royal family might not celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle (famously, Queen Elizabeth and her crew spend the holidays at Sandringham), this year's decor will show visitors how it used to be done, Victoria and Albert style.
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