The Queen keeps her Christmas decorations up for 2 months – and the reason is heartbreaking

Her Majesty enjoys an extended festive break at the Sandringham estate

Chloe Best

Like many homes around the world, the Queen's royal residences including Buckingham Palace and the Sandringham Estate will soon be decorated for Christmas. However, while it is tradition to take down Christmas trees before Twelfth Night, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are said to keep their decorations up until 6 February each year – and the reason is heartbreaking.

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.

The Queen is said to keep her decorations up until 6 February

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.

STORY: The Queen only has two days off a year - find out when

The Queen and Prince Philip typically travel to Sandringham on 21 December for an extended Christmas break. They are expected to host close family, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for Christmas dinner, with Meghan's mum Doria Ragland reportedly set to join the royals for the special occasion.

One of the incredible Christmas trees at Windsor Castle

Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge's brother James Middleton hinted that she and Prince William could be spending Christmas day with them this year, which will be their first with all three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

GALLERY: Inside Buckingham Palace at Christmas

In an interview on German TV channel, Leute Heute, James explained: "I welcome people into our family home," before adding: "I want it to feel like it's their home." Describing what the Middleton Christmas is like, he said: "There'll be turkey, champagne and some wine..." then continued: "For me it's all about family… It's one where we can all regroup."

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