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Press release

Celebrate Christmas at the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen

Release date: Monday, 21 October 2019

The Christmas tree in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle

The Christmas tree in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle ©

This December, visitors to Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will see the State Apartments transformed with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and a range of activities to celebrate the festive season.

Christmas at Windsor Castle
30 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
  • The highlight of the Christmas display at Windsor Castle will be the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George's Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments.
  • To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 2019, the Octagon Dining Room will feature a special display of gifts exchanged between the royal couple during the many Christmases they spent together at Windsor Castle.
  • In the State Dining Room, the table will be laid with silver-gilt pieces from the spectacular Grand Service commissioned by George IV and still used today by The Queen and her guests at State Banquets.
  • An evening talk in St George’s Chapel on Thursday, 5 December will explore the history of Victorian carols and feature performances by four of the Chapel singers, including a performance of the Christmas hymn written by Prince Albert.
  • On Saturday, 7 December, visitors to the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel can enjoy A Victorian Yuletide, with festive activities for adults and families including Victorian cookery demonstrations with food historian Annie Gray, carol concerts, storytelling, and decoration and candle-making workshops.
  • Every Saturday in December, families can enjoy Christmas-themed arts and crafts workshops, as well as festive storytelling in the State Apartments on selected Saturdays.
Christmas at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
6 December 2019 – 6 January 2020
  • The festive decorations at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will include a 15-foot high Christmas tree in the Great Gallery, adorned with shimmering decorations and sparkling lights, while the Great Stair leading to the historic State Apartments will be draped with twinkling velvet garlands, glistening berries and seasonal foliage.
  • In the Royal Dining Room, the table will be laid with pieces from a silver service presented to George V and Queen Mary in 1935 to mark their Silver Jubilee, and decorated with flowers, wreaths and spires of faux candied sugared fruits.
  • In the Café at the Palace in the historic Mews courtyard, visitors can enjoy homemade mince pies, Christmas cake and mulled wine or treat themselves to a Christmas-themed afternoon tea.
  • During the Christmas Celebration Weekend on 14 and 15 December, families visiting the Palace can enjoy musical performances, short talks, hands-on activities and a family-friendly performance by theatre company Some Kind of Theatre, telling the story of a stubborn pixie trapped in Queen Mary’s Dolls House.
  • On Saturday, 14 December, visitors can enjoy a lunchtime lecture by Louise Cooling, author of A Royal Christmas, exploring the festive traditions of the royal family through the centuries, many of which have influenced the Christmas customs we know and love today.
  • On Sunday, 8 and Monday, 9 December, the Scottish Vocal Ensemble will provide an evening of Christmas carols and seasonal music in the splendour of the Great Gallery. Tickets include a glass of wine, a mince pie and a 20% discount in the Palace shop.
Exclusive Evening Tours of the royal residences

On selected dates in December, visitors can enjoy a Private Evening Tour of the official royal residences. The tours, available at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, are led by an expert guide and offer a special behind-the-ropes experience. All tickets include a glass of champagne, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide and a 20% discount at Royal Collection Trust shops.

Shopping

Browse for Christmas gift inspiration at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Royal Collection Trust shops or online at www.rct.uk/shop, where ranges of jewellery, cuddly Corgis and festive food and drink make perfect presents. For book lovers, A Royal Christmas (£12.95) from Royal Collection Trust shops) is the first official publication to explore the festive traditions of generations of the royal family, through more than 150 objects, photographs and documents from the Royal Collection and the Royal Archives.


Christmas at the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen is from 30 November 2019 to 5 January 2020 at Windsor Castle, and from 6 December 2019 to 6 January 2020 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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