Why Does Queen Elizabeth II Never Take Down Her Christmas Decorations Until February?

The British royal family are known to do things quite differently from America, which isn’t surprising considering how much we’ve borrowed from the U.K. in entertainment. While we know certain protocol is expected when talking in front of Queen Elizabeth II, she can also do something else different from the rest of us: Avoiding Christmas decoration removal until February.

Those of you not familiar with Windsor traditions may wonder why she does this when the rest of us take decorations down in early January.

What started this royal tradition? An emotionally personal reason exists behind it.

The Windsors go all out with Christmas decorations

If you follow the royal family on Twitter, then you probably saw some of the tweets posted this year showcasing their decorations from various locations.

It’s hard to believe Christmas decorations could cause controversy, yet one particular picture did ruffle some feathers. This had nothing to do with the beautiful tree and wreaths dotting the palace living room. Instead, it had to do with a nearby piano.

When Queen Elizabeth gave her annual Christmas speech, you had a chance to see just how opulent their annual decorations are. What caused the stir was the grand piano in behind her slathered in gold.

Many thought it was poor taste to showcase such an ostentatious piano when her speech was all about respecting others and embracing differences.

Slightly more humble Christmas decorations

Take a look around on the Royal Family Twitter account, and you’ll see more shots of their Christmas decorations from this last holiday season.

If you think some of the decorations looked luxurious from Buckingham Palace, then the tree shown from Clarence House seemed more humble. The same goes for the garlands seen decorating the palace’s Grand Staircase.

One thing you can say is the royals definitely have good taste in their holiday decorating. Many could argue today’s White House could learn from the Windsors on how to decorate with pure class.

Behind-the-scenes, we likely know what didn’t occur during their holiday gatherings. Within a long list of things the Queen doesn’t like, she doesn’t love having kids at the dinner table. No doubt this made things awkward when William and Kate brought their kids to see their grandparents for Christmas.

Keeping Christmas decorations up for an extra month

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Undoubtedly, the initial reaction of Americans upon hearing the Queen keeps her decorations up until February is one of further ostentation.

This isn’t really the case. Let’s remember the royals are real people with emotional things once affecting their lives. The real reason the Queen keeps Christmas decorations up is due to the passing of her father (King George VI) in 1952.

His sudden passing was an emotional blow to the Queen who was only 25 years old at the time. He died on February 6 then while the Queen was away in Kenya.

Since the royals spend time at Sandringham Estate during Christmas (and don’t leave until February), they keep Christmas decorations up until February 6 in memory of her father.

Now you see there’s often a much more serious reason for any unusual royal tradition.

Queen Elizabeth II keeping her father’s memory alive

King George VI’s passing placed the Queen on the throne in 1952, setting her destiny in place, including strong associations with America and our Presidents.

Perhaps we Americans will look at Queen Elizabeth II a little differently now around the holidays when we realize she went through the same pain of loss we all go through.

Even if you can joke that Americans often don’t take down their Christmas lights until six months after the holidays are over, at least the royals make a strong point to uphold the memory of their centuries-long duty to the U.K.