05:00PM, Thursday 14 November 2019
Christmas tree being installed (Photo ref: 132145-23)
Windsor is ready for the festive season to begin as installation of the Christmas tree, gifted to the town by the Queen every year, was completed on Wednesday.
Paul Roach, Windsor, Eton and Ascot town manager, said: “I do not know when this tradition started but I have been doing it for 16 years and it has always been the case that the Queen graciously agrees to donate a tree to the town centre.”
The road from Thames Street to Advance Gate was closed as the tree, which stands between 30ft-40ft, was put up.
“It is a very delicate process to ensure the tree fits and is straight as Castle Hill has a slight gradient on it, and it does not take a lot for it to be out of alignment,” said Paul.
Installation of the tree is co-ordinated through the Royal Borough and Windsor, Eton and Ascot Town Partnership.
Each year a tree is sourced from the Crown Estate in Windsor Great Park where the estate’s tree team select a tree to be positioned behind the Queen Victoria statue in Castle Hill.
Lamps and Tubes Illuminations, based in Chesham, decorate the tree with more than 1,000 lights and 500 handmade golden baubles, which were donated to the town by the city of Coburg, Germany, in 2016 in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Residents will be able to view the tree in all its glory on Saturday at the Christmas light switch-on.
Mayor Cllr Sayonara will switch on the lights alongside stars of the Theatre Royal Windsor pantomime on Castle Hill at 5.30pm.
There will also be a lantern procession at 3pm led by children from Busy Buttons Creative Studio, who will also perform a special Christmas version of The Last Puppet Show.
In support of the official switch-on ceremony, 200 performers from the community will appear on a specially built stage in front of Windsor Castle.
A specially commissioned projection reflected on the walls of Windsor Castle will show onlookers sections of the stain glass and architectural parts of St George’s Chapel that will start at 4.30pm and switch off at midnight every evening until January 5.
The Queen granted permission for the projections which are commissioned by Windsor, Eton and Ascot Town Partnership with assistance from the Royal Household, the Dean & Canons of Windsor, the Projection Studio and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Busy Buttons Creative Studio, St George’s, Eton Porny and Eton Wick schools.
This year the Christmas tree will be sponsored by Windsor on Ice and will remain in position until Monday, January 6.
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