This December, visitors to Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will see the State Apartments transformed to celebrate the festive season; enjoy glittering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and dining tables laid for royal feasts.
Christmas at Windsor Castle (24 November 2017 – 5 January 2018)
- The Christmas display at Windsor Castle will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the Castle following the devastating fire of November 1992. The State Apartments will be decked with glistening gold decorations inspired by the intricate gilding work that was undertaken to restore the Castle’s interiors to their former glory.
- The highlight of the display will be the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree, transported from Windsor Great Park to St George’s Hall and dressed entirely in gold decorations.
- For the first time, a series of immersive evening performances will be staged in the State Apartments. Between 16 and 30 December, the nine family-friendly performances of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will transport audiences into a Victorian Christmas.
- On Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 December, a Festive Weekend will offer a range of Christmas activities for families, including a pop-up pantomime, storytelling, festive music, a floral display, decoration-making workshops and the ever popular Bach to Baby concerts for under-fives.
- Every Saturday in December, families can enjoy festive arts-and-crafts workshops in the Castle’s Moat Room.
Christmas at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (1 December 2017 – 5 January 2018)
- The festive decorations at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will draw on the baroque architecture of the Palace itself, 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 and wreaths, while in the Great Gallery, a 15-foot-high Christmas tree will be decked in white and silver.
- 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 Silver Jubilee, and decorated with flowers, wreaths and spires of faux candied sugared fruits.
- On Sunday, 10 December, a Festive Family Day will include a Christmas present trail, a family ceilidh, fancy-dress and face-painting, decoration-making workshops, and storytelling around the fireplace in the Palace’s Great Gallery.
- On Monday, 11 and Tuesday, 12 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.
Exclusive 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.
Browse for Christmas gift inspiration at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Royal Collection Trust shops or online, where ranges of handmade, limited edition and commemorative chinaware, cuddly corgis and festive food and drink, make perfect presents.
Tickets and visitor information: www.royalcollection.org.uk or +44 (030) 123 7306, Palace of Holyroodhouse, (030) 123 7304, Windsor Castle.