It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, well, in England at least. Here in the States, a lot of us are in the middle of making plans for Thanksgiving, but in London, the Christmas season in already underway.
With the Regent Street Lighting in London on November 9th, it seems that suddenly, my subscription box on YouTube was full of Christmas gift ideas and Christmas décor was spouting up during their Christmas house tours. All of this got me thinking about how the Royals decorate for the holidays. My favorite castle, Windsor Castle, will be decorated for the holidays and is open for tours.
The following is from their official press release:
This festive season Windsor Castle will be transformed inside and out, as the visitor route is decorated for Christmas. From 1 December until 12 January 2014, traditional wreaths and garlands will adorn the Castle Precincts and some of Windsor’s most famous State Apartments.
Dominating St George’s Hall will be a six-metre Nordman Fir Christmas tree, while in the Crimson Drawing Room a richly decorated tree will be set against the spectacular gilded interiors of George IV’s private apartments. In the Waterloo Chamber a table of glittering silver-gilt from the Grand Service will be laid for a seasonal feast. Commissioned by George IV, the service is still used by The Queen at State Banquets today.
The highlight of the State Dining Room Christmas display will be a silver-gilt table centrepiece designed by Prince Albert in 1842/3. Measuring nearly 80 cm in height, it is decorated with sculptures of four of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s favourite pets – Eos, the Prince’s devoted greyhound, the dachshund Waldman, and the Highland terriers Cairnach and Islay.
On Saturdays, 7, 14 and 21 December and Sunday, 22 December, families are invited to join a storyteller in St George’s Hall for a glimpse into royal Christmases past and to hear tales of glorious feasts and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the Castle grounds.
Visitors can also book an Exclusive Evening Tour of the Castle on selected days in December. Offering a special behind-the-ropes experience after the public have left for the day, the tour explores the history of the Castle and the works of art from the Royal Collection on display throughout the State Apartments.
Tours are available on 10, 14, 20, 21 and 28 December and include a glass of champagne, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide and 20% discount in the shop.
The Christmas displays are part of a visit to Windsor Castle from 1 December until 12 January 2014. The Castle is open daily, except 25 and 26 December.
Tickets and visitor information: www.royalcollection.org.uk or +44 (0)20 7766 7301.
I would love the chance to be able to see this wonderful castle all dressed up for the holidays. If you are fortunate to be in England and can make it to Windsor, I’d highly encourage you to make the trip.
Christy Clark is a mom, teacher, knitter and freelance writer who has been “Smitten by Britain” ever since her mother got her up in the wee hours of 29 July 1981 to watch Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles. In 2011 she got her own daughter up to watch Prince William marry Catherine Middleton. Christy lives in Florida and can be found on Twitter @christybelle