Royal Christmas

Did Queen Victoria and Prince Albert really introduce the Christmas tree to Britain?

Prince Albert is generally credited with introducing the Christmas tree to Britain, but in fact, it was the work of his wife’s grandmother, Queen Charlotte. Like Prince Albert, Charlotte was born and raised in Germany, where the tradition of bringing a tree inside at Christmas time, decorated with lights and sweets, is believed to date back to the 16th century. As a child, Charlotte’s family…
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Queen Victoria's winter sledge

Queen Victoria’s winter sledge became synonymous with the Windsor Christmas, at least during the lifetime of Prince Albert, who is rightly credited with popularising Christmas traditions in England, including that of the Christmas tree. The royal trees were decorated with…
Features

Queen Victoria and an empress who set up home for winter in a famous London hotel

Sometimes known as ‘the annexe to Buckingham Palace’, the classic hotel in London’s Mayfair has time-honoured connections with royalty that exist into the present day. From the earlier single building run by William and Marianne Claridge at 51 Brook Street, Claridge’s opened in its own right in 1856 and received its first visit from Queen Victoria in 1860. Historically, it continued to…
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The last Christmas of a great queen

Queen Victoria spent her last Christmas at Osborne in 1900. It was forty years exactly since Prince Albert had celebrated his final Christmas in 1860 at Windsor, the setting for so many happy family festivities in the past. Prince Albert did not live to see Christmas 1861, dying on 14 December in the same room in which with strange historical prescience, George IV and William IV had also died, in…
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The royals who have loved playing in the snow

Snow has provided enjoyment for countless generations of children and adults alike; royalty, of course,is no exception to this time-honoured rule. English monarchs have wintered at Windsor since the twelfth century. Windsor Castle was the preferred royal residence…
British Royals

The wedding dress of Queen Elizabeth II

After the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at 11:30 am in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, the bridal gifts given to Princess Elizabeth were exhibited at St James’s Palace, numbering over 2,500. Like the gifts, Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress, designed by the leading British couturier, Sir Norman Hartnell, was also put on display. It had been made up…
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