Queen leaves Christmas decorations up for longer in tribute to her father

This year the Queen broke a 30-year tradition of spending Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk with her extended Royal family due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, she celebrated the festive season with Prince Philip with only minimal staff at Windsor Castle, where they have been shielding.

They've missed out on numerous protocols, including their gift-giving ceremony, Christmas dinner and Boxing Day shoot.

Usually, she stays at Sandringham House up until February 6, the date of her father's death, reports the Express.

On that day, almost 69 years ago, the Queen found out her father, King George VI, passed away aged just 56 due to coronary thrombosis.

The Queen was away in Kenya on a royal tour at the time of his death.

But she marks the day in private every year before returning to royal duties at Buckingham Palace.

The monarch insists that all Christmas decorations should remain up until she leaves on that date.

This means they stay up past the Twelfth Night, 11 days after Christmas Day, when decorations are normally taken down in line with British tradition.

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Many believe it is bad luck to keep Christmas decorations past January 5 or Epiphany (January 6), but the Queen must not believe in these superstitions.

It's not known whether Her Majesty will request the same thing to be done at Windsor this year.

Previously, before the Covid crisis, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are decked with huge 20ft Christmas trees and fairy lights, with Sandrigham having more understated decorations.

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It's also unclear whether this has been the same this year.

The Queen spoke to the nation in her usual Christmas Speech on December 25, where she praised people for coming together to help others in what has been a very difficult year.

She said: “Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.

“In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and I am so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit.”

She also offered words of hope and encouragement for better days in the future.

The monarch, 94, said: “We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that even on the darkest nights, there is hope in the new dawn.”

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