Celebrate Christmas at the official residences of Her Majesty the Queen

Christmas at Windsor Castle
Christmas at Windsor Castle

This December, visitors to Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will see the State Apartments transformed with glittering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and a range of activities to celebrate the festive season.

Windsor Castle, 1 December – 6 January

A magnificent 20-foot Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall will take centre stage in the Windsor Castle’s Christmas display, taken from Windsor Great Park and entirely dressed in gold decorations.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex throughout the Christmas season. The exhibition includes The Duchess’s wedding dress, created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, and the Duke of Sussex’s frockcoat uniform of the Household Cavalry, made by Savile Row tailors Dege & Skinner.

Family-friendly performances of The Princess and The Pantomime will take place on 1, 7, 8 and 9 December. The show will invite audiences on a journey through Christmas past in the State Apartments, ending with a performance of Aladdin in the Waterloo Chamber where The Queen performed pantomimes when still a princess.

Festive arts and crafts workshops for families will also run every Saturday in December.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, 7 December – 6 January

The festive decorations at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will draw on the palace’s baroque architecture, taking inspiration from the ornate garlands of fruits and flowers that can be seen on the magnificent 17th century plasterwork ceilings.

The Great Stair leading to the historic State Apartments will be draped with twinkling garlands, while a shining Christmas tree decked in white, gold and silver will stand in the Great Gallery.

In the Royal Dining Room, the table will be laid with pieces from a silver service presented to George V and Queen Mary in 1935 to mark their Wilver Jubilee, and decorated with flowers, wreaths and spires of faux candied sugared fruits.

Visitors to the Palace can enjoy homemade mince pies, Christmas cake and mulled wine at the Cafe at the Palace, or treat themselves to a Christmas-themed afternoon tea. Families can also take part in a Christmas Festival Day on 15 December, which will include a Christmas present trail, family ceilidh, decoration-making workshops and storytelling around the fireplace in the Palace’s Great Gallery.

On 10 and 11 December, the Scottish Vocal Ensemble will provide an evening of Christmas carols and seasonal music in the splendour of the Great Gallery. Tickets include a glass of wine, a mince pie, and a 20% discount in the Palace shop.

Evening Tours of the Royal Residences

On selected dates in December, visitors can enjoy a Private Evening Tour of the official royal residences. The tours, available at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, are led by an expert guide and offer a special behind-the-ropes experience. All tickets include a glass of champagne, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide, and a 20% discount at Royal Collection Trust shops.

For more information or to book please visit www.rct.uk.