Victoria, Albert and the Christmas Tree

Christmas trees became fashionable in December 1848, after the London News printed a woodcut illustration of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, five of their children and a Governess gathered around a tree at Windsor Castle. Victoria was a popular queen, and suddenly everyone who could afford a tree wanted one. Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Christmas tree fashions came and went. In World War II they were not allowed except in public places where they were put up to boost moral. They returned after the war and families decorated them with baubles, tinsel, angels and stars. The 1960’s brought us tacky, pre-lit

silver trees, and  the 1970’s saw plastic green ones that didn’t drop needles on the new carpet. Depending on what you do with it, a Christmas tree can take on a character of its own: Some are small, symmetrical and neatly tucked in the corner, hoping that nobody will notice them; others are gloriously festooned with glitter and dominate the room with cheer. Whatever kind of tree you get this year, we have Queen Victoria to thank for it.