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Queen Vic breaks out the baubles.

IT may be seen as an age-old tradition, but decorating pines or other evergreens at Christmas is a comparatively recent addition to the festive celebrations.

It was Queen Victoria made the habit a family favourite, and was apparently much amused.

In 1846, the queen and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched for the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree.

Such was Victoria's popularity that what she did was quickly mimicked by her adoring subjects.

The Americans also avidly followed the royal. But Victoria was not the first royal to decorate a tree - she simply made it trendy.

Britain's first proper Christmas tree was put up by "Good Queen Charlotte", the German wife of George III, at Windsor in 1800.

Yet they had been a feature in Germany since the 1600s.

A 1605 document chronicles:"The inhabitants of Strasburg set up fir trees in the parlours and hang thereon roses cut out of many coloured paper, apples, wafers, gold-foil, sweets..."

By 1860, almost every wealthy family in England sported a Christmas tree in the parlour.

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| Queen Victoria and, right, with Prince Albert

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2015
Words:188
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