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The heartbreaking reason the Queen keeps her Christmas decorations up until February

Her Majesty takes an extended break at the Sandringham Estate

Chloe Best

While many families around the world will be taking down their Christmas decorations at the weekend, one person who won't be following suit is the Queen. The monarch and Duke of Edinburgh are said to disregard the tradition of taking down Christmas trees before Twelfth Night and instead keep the decorations up at the Sandringham Estate for another four weeks until 6 February – and the reason why 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.

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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.

GALLERY: Best photos from the royal family's Christmas Day outing

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The Queen spends Christmas at the Sandringham Estate

The Queen travelled to Sandringham on 20 December for an extended Christmas break, and her husband Prince Philip was released from hospital just in time to join the royal family on Christmas Eve after being admitted for a pre-existing condition. The monarch attended church on Christmas Day with many fellow senior royals including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were joined by their eldest children Prince George and Princess Charlotte for the first time. This year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were noticeably absent from the proceedings, opting to spend the festive period with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland in Canada.

MORE: See the most lavish royal Christmas decorations around the world

WATCH: The Queen and royal family celebrate Christmas together

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