Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have revealed their plans to celebrate the holidays at Windsor this year, due to the pandemic.
Christmas Day is going to be something different this year for the royal family. Due to the ongoing epidemic, there will be an annual walk to services at St. Mary Magdalene Church, and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will not spend holidays at the Sandringham estate, breaking a decade-old royal tradition. Instead, the couple planned to celebrate “quietly” at Windsor Castle.
But even though the Queen and Prince Philip are having a low-key Christmas, it will still be very festive. Windsor Castle this year is decorated with Christmas trees, twinkle lights and festive garlands.
A 20-foot tall Norway tree adjoining Windsor Great Park is the focal point of the castle’s Christmas decorations. The tree sits in St. George’s Hall, the largest room in the palace, and is decorated with 3,000 lights and hundreds of iridescent ornaments. Starting today, visitors to Windsor Castle can also see this jaw dropping tree, which the Royal Collection Trust staff took two whole days to decorate.
Apart from spruce, other parts of the palace were also prepared for the holiday season. The State Dining Room now displays the Grand Service, a silver-gilt dining service by King George IV (while he was Prince Regent) in 1806, in honor of George IV’s accession to the throne. The service, which includes more than 4,000 pieces, is still used by the royal family for state banquets today.
In other parts of the palace, holiday decorations complement existing facilities. The Grand Staircase, which is home to the most notable weapons and armor from the Royal Collection, Garlands Pepper. In the Queen’s gallery, small Christmas trees depict the perimeter of the room, standing with rare silver furniture.
And finally, while the 20-foot spruce may be the most impressive tree in Windsor Castle, it makes no sense. In the inner hall sits another Christmas tree, which is decorated with shimmering lights and ornaments. The space, built by George IV in the 1820s as an area to greet official guests, now sees visitors to the first room as they enter the palace.
Those who visit the royal residence this holiday season should also stop by the palace’s undercraft café. For the holiday season only, restaurants will serve a variety of festive fare, from turkey sandwiches to cranberries and orange ocularies.