CHRISTMAS AT THE CASTLE: The wonder of Windsor during the holidays
There’s nothing like Christmas in a castle, and this year, Windsor Castle outside London will see Christmas displays celebrating the 675th anniversary of the Order of the Garter, the oldest order of chivalry in Britain which was founded in Windsor in 1348.
A magnificent 8-metre-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall, grown and felled nearby in Windsor Great Park, is the highlight of the Christmas display. Illuminated with 33,500 sparkling lights, it is topped by a specially commissioned Garter Star to commemorate the anniversary.
Another glistening Christmas tree decorated with smaller Garter Stars can be seen in the Crimson Drawing Room – one of the most elaborate rooms in the Castle. Part of the Semi-State Rooms created as private apartments for George IV, these rooms on the east side of the Castle are still used by members of the Royal Family for official entertaining and are open to visitors over the winter months.
In the Waterloo Chamber, the 49-metre-long dining table has been laid with porcelain from the Garter Service, featuring a design inspired by the Garter Star and the Order’s motto ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame on him who thinks evil of it)’. Three smaller trees feature decorations embroidered with the King’s cypher in a nod to the Coronation earlier this year.
Impressive garlands on the Grand Staircase greet visitors as they enter the State Apartments, while outside, festive wreaths and foliage adorn gates and lampposts in the Castle grounds.
On select dates in December, local school and community choirs will perform carols beneath the Christmas tree in St George’s Hall and families can participate in craft and activity workshops exploring how the Victorians celebrated Christmas. Christmas at the castle continues until Jan. 1, 2024.
First published at Travel Industry Today