Windsor Castle tree illuminated in thousands of lights for first Christmas since Queen's death

  • WATCH: Kathryn Jones, a curator at the Royal Collection Trust, discusses what visitors can see at Windsor Castle this Christmas.

Christmas has come early at Windsor Castle as the royal residence transforms once again for the festive season.

Staff are pulling out all the stops this year, with a 20ft tall Christmas tree adorned with 3000 lights taking pride of place in the grand surroundings of St George's Hall. That tree alone took two days to decorate.

Visitors can admire the castle's decorations until 2 January.

But the festivities will be doubly poignant this time around, with this Christmas being the first since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and also coming shortly after the thirtieth anniversary of the Windsor Castle fire.

Visitors to the castle will see many references to royal history. Some gilt bronze works of art purchased by George IV two centuries ago are on display on a special Christmas table in the Waterloo Chamber, one of the largest rooms in the castle.

The table also features some porcelain presented to Edward VII's wife Queen Alexandra as a wedding gift in 1863.

For Sally Goodsir, a curator at the Royal Collection Trust, decorating a table in such a large room brings its own particular challenges.

"(It's a) really tall room and it's also got some really interesting colours. There's a lot of oak panelling... (and) gold. We really wanted to use a dull gold on the table this year.

The Christmas table in the Waterloo Room contains many nods to the history of the Royal Family Credit: ITV Meridian

"We also wanted to bring out some red highlights... so there are red highlights in the carpet here, so there are red highlights on the porcelain that's on the table."

The castle's decorations change every year, and colour schemes are carefully adjusted for each individual room.

You can guarantee that once this year's decorations come down after New Year, it won't be too long before thoughts start turning to how they can do it all again in twelve months' time.

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