Windsor Castle lights up with Christmas décor ahead of King Charles’ first holiday season as monarch

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A month before Christmas, Windsor Castle is all decked up to mark King Charles III’s first holiday season as Britain’s king. According to the Royal Collection Trust, two royal residences have been at the heart of festive celebrations. Monarchs, including Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their growing family, have been celebrating Christmas at Windsor Castle since the twelfth century. During the reigns of King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI, however, the Christmas season was almost always spent on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. This tradition was largely adopted by Queen Elizabeth II with most Christmas celebrations centering on Sandringham during her reign.

Reportedly, following her mother’s footsteps, King Charles will spend his first Christmas as monarch at Sandringham, joined by the Queen Consort and other members of the royal family. The occasion is expected to be a somber one as it will be the first festive period since the death of Queen Elizabeth II who has spent 32 Christmas’ at Sandringham. Due to the pandemic, she spent it at Windsor Castle for the last two years.

windsor 4 A member of staff from the Royal Collection poses for a photograph by a newly erected Christmas tree in the Crimson Drawing Room, in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

In a touching tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, a 20ft Nordmann fir tree has been put up in St George’s Hall, in Windsor Castle, which is decorated in the Queen’s colours — purple, red and gold baubles. The tree was grown nearby, in Windsor Great Park, and is dressed with hundreds of bright ornaments.

windsor 2 Staff from the Royal Collection pose for a photograph by a newly erected Christmas tree in St. George’s Hall, in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

Another tree is also on display in the Crimson Drawing Room which visitors can explore along with the Semi-State Rooms. The Crimson Drawing Room is one of the most ornate rooms in the historic royal castle.

windsor 1 Staff of the Royal Collection pose for a photograph by a newly erected Christmas tree in the Crimson Drawing Room, in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

Also decorated is the Waterloo Chamber where a large table has been laid with a display of decorative items from the royal collection, fruits and foliage beneath glittering chandeliers.

windsor christmas Staff of the Royal Collection pose for a photograph with newly installed Christmas decorations in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

Another royal tradition associated with Christmas has been the Queen sending out roughly 750 cards each year to family, friends, members of the royal household and British government officials. It is yet to be known if King Charles will carry forward this tradition.

windsor 5 Staff of the Royal Collection pose for a photograph by a newly erected Christmas tree in the Crimson Drawing Room, in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

Before her demise, the Queen also normally hosted a Christmas lunch for every member of the royal family at Buckingham Palace each year before leaving for Sandringham. On Christmas Eve, her guests partake in a cocktail reception and formal dinner followed by a traditional Christmas dinner served on the main day. The meal often includes Norfolk shrimp, lamb and a Tarte Tatin or soufflé.

windsor 6 Staff of the Royal Collection pose for a photograph with newly installed Christmas decorations in Windsor Castle (Source: Reuters)

On Christmas Eve, the royal family exchanges gifts and it is also reported that the family wakes up to stockings stuffed with gifts at the foot of their beds on Christmas morning. The royal family goes to St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25 every year.

windsor 7 Members of the make finishing touches to a 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir Christmas tree, which was felled from Windsor Great Park, in St George’s Hall (Source: AP)

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