The Queen's Christmas decorations are going up at Windsor
- Credit: PA
A 20-foot Christmas tree has been installed in Windsor Castle where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are spending the festive period together.
The couple will have a quiet December 25 having taken the decision to celebrate as a couple, rather than forming a bubble with royal relatives at Sandringham despite the coronavirus restrictions being temporarily relaxed.
The royal residence, which has been the family home of kings and queens for almost 1,000 years, is already getting in the festive spirit.
A gigantic Norwegian Spruce tree, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed in 3,000 lights and hundreds of iridescent glass, red and gold mirrored ornaments, has pride of place in the historic St George's Hall, the castle's largest room.
Crowds traditionally gather to greet the Royal Family when they attend Christmas Day service at the tiny church on her Norfolk estate.
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This year, the 94-year-old monarch is not expected to appear in public, while members of her family are expected to spend Christmas at their own homes.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas Day at Highgrove, their Gloucestershire home, but are expected to see the Queen and Philip at Windsor over the holidays, with Camilla also visiting her family.
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It is not known where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate the festive period but they may, as they have in the past, spend it with Kate's parents who live in the same county as the Queen in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury.
The Queen and Duke have enjoyed large Christmas gatherings in the past. Last year, those joining them included Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and her then fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Visitors are being welcomed back by the Royal Collection to explore the historic state rooms at the castle. Tickets should be pre-booked at www.rct.uk.