Posts Tagged ‘Queen Charlotte’

christmas-tree1Fact: Queen Charlotte introduced the Christmas tree to England. Recently I read in Yahoo answers.com that the Christmas tree was introduced to England by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. The majority of the readers had “voted” that this must be so. Wrong. While he and Queen Victoria popularized the custom, they did not start the tradition.

In 1800, Queen Charlotte, the German-born wife of King George III and mother of the Prince Regent, placed a decorated yew tree in Queen’s Lodge, Windsor for the children of leading families. She had also arranged a ‘pyramid of toys upon the table’ to hand out as gifts.  Dr. John Watkins, the Queen’s biographer, wrote the following description:

In the middle of the room stood an immense tub with a yew tree placed in it, from the branches of which hung bunches of sweetmeats, almonds, and raisins in papers, fruits and toys, most tastefully arranged, and the whole illuminated by small wax candles. After the company had walked around and admired the tree, each child obtained a portion of the sweets which it bore together with a toy and then all returned home, quite delighted. – Windsor Castle and the Christmas Tree

Another contemporary writer penned this observation:

A fir tree, about as high again as any of us, lighted all over with small tapers, several little wax dolls among the branches in different places, and strings of almonds and raisins alternately tied from one to the other, with skipping ropes for the boys, and each bigger girl had muslin for a frock, a muslin handkerchief, and a fan, and a sash, all prettily done up in a handkerchief, and a pretty necklace and earrings besides.

More about Christmas traditions during the regency era:

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