With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, it's the perfect time to trim the tree, bake some cookies, and snuggle in on the couch with some hot chocolate and a Netflix Christmas film or two. But while the streaming giant may have all our princess-filled Christmas dreams covered with movies about royal love stories (and even a royal wedding holiday film), Buckingham Palace has just topped them all by showing the world exactly how the real royals approach the festive season. The royal family's 2018 Christmas decorations were revealed by the palace Tuesday, according to Cosmopolitan, and though the Queen's official residence is already quite the icon of royal pomp and circumstance, seeing it all decked out for Christmas just somehow makes it seem even more magical.
The Queen and her relatives won't actually be spending Dec. 25 at Buckingham Palace — each year, they travel to Sandringham in Norfolk, where they partake in very-royal festivities like a Christmas Eve black tie dinner, a Christmas morning church service, and a traditional Christmas turkey lunch. Yet, it's clear that getting in the holiday spirit ahead of time is still quite important to the monarch, which is likely why she ensures that Buckingham Palace is all decked out in holiday finery.
On Tuesday, the palace shared a video of the decorations on the official royal family YouTube channel, showing three Christmas trees lighting up the palace's Marble Hall. The trees in the video were grown in Windsor — future home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their baby on the way — and delivered to the palace at the beginning of December. The trees are then decorated "in royal style," by household staff, which seems to mean they're covered in adorable ornaments in the shape of crowns and fancy royal carriages. And the hall's Grand Staircase also gets the royal holiday treatment: it was adorned with a festive garland, complete with a variety of brightly-colored Christmas balls.
Though it's not entirely clear whether or not the remainder of the palace is decorated, the royal website explained that Christmas trees are in fact quite an important royal tradition. According to Buckingham Palace, King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, is thought to be the one who introduced the royals to Christmas trees all the way back in the late 1700s, though it was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who later seemed to have popularized the tradition in the UK.
That's not the only Christmas tradition that the royals have maintained from their German ancestors though (Queen Charlotte hailed from the north German duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, according to the palace, and Prince Albert was also of German descent): the royals still opt to exchange presents not on Christmas morning, but instead on Christmas Eve.
On social media, most commenters seemed to simply find the Buckingham Palace trees to be a lovely Christmas touch, though some couldn't help but compare the scene to that of the White House in the United States, where First Lady Melania Trump has been criticized for her take on holiday decor. Some commenters noted, for example, that the British royals skipped out on including any red Christmas trees, unlike Trump, who raised some eyebrows after she filled a hallway with them.
In fact, it turns out that any royal fans enamored with this year's royal Christmas decor can actually purchase the exact Christmas ornaments that have been chosen for the Queen's trees. According to Hello!, the ornaments used on the Christmas trees at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are available at the Royal Collection Shop, including "mini State Coaches ... a red Buckingham Palace crown embroidered with the words 'God Save the Queen', and larger crowns adorned with colourful gems."
Though it's not exactly clear whether the royals will go all out decorating Sandringham for Christmas as well, something tells me that if they do, it will be similarly magical. Except, perhaps, for the individuals tasked with taking it all down afterwards.
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