It’s that time of year when families worldwide start decorating for the holiday season, and the royal family is no different — well, sort of. Per tradition, Queen Elizabeth’s residence has been decorated with multiple Christmas trees and elaborate table settings. Over the weekend, staff from the Royal Collection Trust were busy decking the halls of Windsor Castle, and the first photos released show the 2019 royal Christmas decorations are just as spectacular as ever.
According to the Daily Mail, a 15-foot tree has been placed in front of the windows in the Crimson Drawing Room, and a 20-foot version was set up in St. George’s Hall, nearly reaching the ceiling. Every Nordmann fir erected throughout the residence was specially grown in Windsor Great Park for the monarch and given a regal finish.
Photos from social media show staff climbing ladders to decorate the gigantic trees with sparkly white lights, red, green, and gold baubles, and iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments. Sources say it takes up to 13 hours to decorate just one tree, and once completed, the royal family will add the finishing touches.
Staff members also prepared other rooms in the castle, including the State Dining Room, which was set with gorgeous “silver-gilt pieces from the Grand Service.” The table setting also features lush greenery and metallic ornaments.
According to the Royal Collection Trust, the silver-gilt pieces were commissioned by George IV and are still used today by The Queen and her guests at State Banquets. It’s said to take two days to set the table, which seats 160 guests and holds the 8,000 piece dish set. To ensure proper placement, everything on the table is measured with a tape measure.
Though Windsor Castle is elaborately decorated for special occasions throughout the holidays, this is not where the royal family traditionally celebrates Christmas. They spend the day at their Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. However, this year, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their son Archie, are opting to celebrate the holidays with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland. It has not yet been announced whether Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children will join the Queen.