King Charles looks ahead to bittersweet festive period as giant Christmas tree craned into Sandringham

The decorations are returning to the royal residences as the Royal Family prepare for their first Christmas since the Queen's death

King Charles looks ahead to bittersweet festive period, seen here during a surprise visit to the Christmas tea dance at Dumfries House
(Image credit: Photo by Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

King Charles looks ahead to a bittersweet festive period as a giant Christmas tree is craned into place at Sandringham in Norfolk. 

There might still be 46 days to go until Christmas Day, but it seems that His Majesty is already preparing to get into the festive spirit if royal decorations are anything to go by. King Charles has continued to live at Clarence House since he ascended the throne but last month he and Camilla, the Queen Consort paid a visit to the late Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Sandringham estate. Here the couple attended a Sunday church service and just a few weeks later Sandringham is starting to undergo a Yuletide transformation. 

As per Hello! the Sandringham Estate Instagram account recently shared footage of a huge Christmas tree being craned into place, captioning the clips, “The team have been prepping and positioning the large Christmas tree in the courtyard today ahead of@luminateuk launching this weekend.” 

General view of Sandringham House, Queen Elizabeth II's country retreat

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The mile-long Luminate Winter Light Trail at Sandringham weaves a dazzling display of lights through the Royal Parkland. So it’s perhaps no wonder that King Charles has had the giant Christmas tree put into position a little early. 

Though it’s not the only Christmas tree which will likely soon be in place as King Charles looks ahead to what will likely be a very bittersweet festive period. Last month the Royal Collection Trust confirmed the dates that Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be decked out in seasonal decorations and they’re drawing nearer. 

Christmas at Windsor will run from November 24-January 2 and is set to feature a 20ft Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall as well as another tree in the Crimson Drawing Room. Meanwhile Holyroodhouse will be seen in its festive glory from December 1-January 2nd, with Christmas trees in both the Great Gallery and throne room as well as garlands, seasonal foliage and sparkling berries. 

With this in mind Sandringham could also potentially be decorated more thoroughly in the coming weeks. It’s possible King Charles could host Christmas there for the Royal Family as the Queen traditionally did. 

Already tinged with sadness since this year marks the first Christmas since the Queen died, if His Majesty spends the festive season in Norfolk, it could be an especially bittersweet time. 

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham

(Image credit: Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

The estate is understood to have held a special place in her heart as It was at Sandringham that the Queen’s beloved husband Prince Philip spent much of his time since he retired in 2017 and where her father King George VI passed away.

The Queen’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren also regularly celebrated Christmas in Norfolk during her reign. Though because of the pandemic in 2020 and the rising number of Omicron cases in 2021, the last Royal Family Christmas in Norfolk was back in 2019.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Christmas Day Church service

(Image credit: Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The Queen's final Christmas was instead spent at Windsor and she sadly never got to enjoy more Sandringham festivities.

Though King Charles’ festive plans remain unconfirmed, many fans will no doubt be hoping to see the Royal Family come together as they remember the Queen and celebrate Christmas in 2022.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!