It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Windsor Castle unveils festive decor including a 20ft tree and pantomime costumes worn by the Queen and Princess Margaret as teenagers on display for the first time
The Berkshire royal residence has been transformed with twinkling lights, festive garlands and towering 20ft Christmas trees topped with angels.
Meanwhile costumes made for a teenage Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret when they took to the stage in an Old Mother Red Riding Boots pantomime are on display for the first time.
Visitors will be able to view the dazzling decorations and incredible costumes in the State Apartments – which are separate from the Queen‘s private quarters – from today.
Windsor Castle in Berkshire has been transformed with twinkling lights, festive garlands and towering 20ft Christmas trees topped with angels
Meanwhile costumes made for a teenage Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret when they took to the stage in an Old Mother Red Riding Boots pantomime are on display for the first time (pictured)
The costumes were worn by teenage Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret when they took to the stage in an Old Mother Red Riding Boots pantomime and Aladdin (pictured)
A young Elizabeth, now the Queen, wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood for the production during the Second World War when she was 18.
She also donned a chintz shirt, trousers and sunhat for a seaside scene, in which Margaret wore a blue taffeta dress with cream lace bloomers to play The Honourable Lucinda Fairfax.
They are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their war-time Aladdin pantomime, which have been exhibited previously.
The Berkshire royal residence has been transformed with twinkling lights, festive garlands and towering 20ft Christmas trees topped with angels
Staff could be seen delicately hanging Christmas decorations on huge trees for the exhibition at the castle, which is set to open today
The royal siblings were closely involved in every aspect of the arrangements for Old Mother Red Riding Boots and acted alongside children from the Windsor Castle community and the Royal Windsor School.
The specially created show combined elements of a number of different pantomimes and fairy-tales, and was written and produced by Hubert Tanner, headmaster of the school.
It was performed three times in December 1944, and for each performance tickets were made available for audiences of between 300 and 600 people.
Specially discounted seats were offered to members of the armed forces and dress rehearsals were attended by staff of the Ministry of Works and Planning who assisted with the technical arrangements for each production.
Bright and beautiful: A twinkling Christmas tree brings festive cheer to one of the grand halls at Windsor Castle
Dazzling decorations: Staff put the finishing touches to one of the Christmas trees. Visitors will be able to view the decorations from today
The princesses’ parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family attended each pantomime.
All proceeds raised from the productions were donated to the Royal Household Wool Fund to provide wool to make comforters for soldiers fighting at the Front.
The couturier of the surviving costumes is unknown, but many of those worn in the royal pantomimes between 1941 and 1944 were supplied by two theatrical costumier firms, H&M Rayne and L&H Nathan.
The princesses also wore some of their own clothes for certain scenes, including day and evening ensembles created by the British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell.
Costumes, including a hat worn by the Queen in a performance of Aladdin, will be on display at Windsor Castle until January (pictured)
Stunning! One of the costumes was worn by Princess Margaret in a performance of Aladdin (left), while another striking red and gold embroidered tunic worn by a fellow cast member to play ‘The King’ is also on display (right)
The costumes will be displayed in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago
The blue taffeta dress overlaid with cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon. Lucinda Fairfax (pictured)
The costumes are being displayed in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago.
Also on show are the 16 large-scale and colourful pictures of fairy-tale characters which were pasted around the walls to decorate the space at the time.
Christmas decorations also transform the State Apartments at Windsor Castle, along with a 20ft-high tree in St George’s Hall.
Christmas at Windsor Castle is from November 25 to 3 January 2022. The Princesses’ Pantomimes display is from November 25 to January 31 2022.
Meanwhile the Queen also wore this chintz co-ordinated jacket and bloomers during a seaside scene in the play (pictured)
The garments will be shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their war-time Aladdin pantomime, which have been exhibited previously (pictured costumes from Aladdin worn by the Queen)
The exhibition comes as it was revealed the Queen is ‘totally committed’ to hosting Christmas at Sandringham after she has rested following a week in hospital on the advice of royal doctors.
Earlier this month, Her Majesty underwent medical tests and spent a night at London´s King Edward VII´s Hospital, her first such stay in in eight years and she has cancelled all working visits for the next two weeks.
The 95-year-old, who used a walking stick for the first time during two royal visits this month, is currently recovering at Windsor Castle but is keen to make a speedy recovery in time for the holiday.
The monarch believes hosting a festive gathering at her Norfolk home will be ‘the perfect tonic’ after a year of cancelled engagements due to the pandemic.
The exhibition comes as it was revealed the Queen is ‘totally committed’ to hosting Christmas at Sandringham after she has rested following a week in hospital on the advice of royal doctors
A royal insider told the Mirror: ‘This year, more than ever, it is incredibly important to Her Majesty to be surrounded by her loved ones.
‘The Queen is totally committed to hosting everyone as she hopes to make it back to full health in the coming weeks.’
‘After being forced to cancel a host of engagements, the family get-together will be the perfect tonic.’
This will be the Queen’s first Christmas since Prince Philip died in April this year and the insider added that after being forced to cancel several engagements due to the pandemic, ‘the family get-together will be the perfect tonic.’