The end of the festive period is rarely a welcome time. For most of us, it means saying goodbye to endless feasting, spending valued quality time with loved ones and returning to work – not to mention facing the dreaded month of January head on and possibly even booze-free.
However, one of the saddest moments of all has got to be clearing your home of all the festive decorations and ultimately taking your beloved Christmas tree down.
If you’re the superstitious type, then this process probably happens sooner rather than later, as it is believed that keeping your tree up for too long after Christmas brings bad luck. But it turns out the Queen doesn’t share this notion. In fact, she reportedly keeps her tree up right the way through til February and it’s for a very touching reason.
While most of us are fairly quick to add our tree to the recycling pile in the local park, it has been revealed by Fabulous that Her Majesty has made a tradition of keeping her tree and decorations up until 6 February in tribute to her late father, as it is the anniversary of his death.
King George VI passed away on that date in 1952 at Sandringham, where the royals celebrate Christmas. Each year, the Queen and Prince Phillip reportedly remain in the Norfolk estate after Christmas to mark her father’s anniversary in private before the two return home to Windsor Castle.
But amidst the formal royal conventions they must follow, unconventional traditions are actually surprisingly common among the Windsors throughout December. The family also has a well know Christmas Eve gifting tradition which they all participate in every year, where they exchange presents using the mantra of ‘the jokier the better’.
‘Diana found to her horror that the answer was not the expensive gifts she bought for her first royal Christmas as the Princess of Wales,’ revealed Kate Mansey in YOU’s in-depth exploration of Christmas at Sandringham. ‘Imagine the scene when she gave Princess Anne a cashmere sweater and found in return that she had been gifted a novelty loo-roll holder. Diana soon learned the “cheap and cheerful” rule, however, and one year gave Sarah, Duchess of York, a leopard-print bathmat.’