Twelfth Night may have officially passed, but the Queen is not in any rush to take down her Christmas decorations.
Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh are said to keep the decorations up at the Sandringham Estate until 6 February each year – some six weeks after Christmas Day.
The date is an important one for the Queen, as it marks the anniversary of her father’s death. King George VI passed away on 6 February 1952 at Sandringham House, and she stays there each year to mark the anniversary in private before returning to Buckingham Palace.
It is believed by many to be bad luck to keep decorations up past Twelfth Night (5 January), or Epiphany (6 January) however it appears the Queen doesn’t believe in these superstitions and has instead created her own traditions over the festive period. And while her other residences at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are decked with huge 20ft Christmas trees and twinkling lights, the decorations at her Sandringham home are said to be much more understated.
The Queen and Prince Philip travelled to Sandringham on 21 December and are enjoying an extended break on the estate. After hosting the royal family, including Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle, for Christmas, the couple have since been seen attending church services at St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Yet despite taking some time away from London, Her Majesty still works every day. In fact, there are just two days in the year when the monarch does not receive a red box from the government, containing policy papers, cabinet documents, telegrams and other important documents, all of which have to be read, and where necessary, approved and signed.
The Queen’s role as head of state means she needs to be kept informed of what is happening in Parliament and other governments around the world, as well as current events from across the globe, and there are only two occasions when she is not obliged to read the contents of the daily red box – Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
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