Before they started retreating to their Norfolk estate in the late 1980s, the royal family would spend Christmases at the historic royal venue. The then Princess Elizabeth, and her younger sister Princess Margaret, would even perform pantomimes for the rest of the family.
Today, the castle is transformed with a variety of regal decorations to celebrate the festive season, and it's always an impressive display.
"The castle itself provides unlimited inspiration in terms of scale and colours, from the richly upholstered furniture to the intricate gilding work of the castle interiors," Theresa-Mary Morton, Head of Exhibitions at Royal Collection Trust, told Country Living.
After 11 months of planning, decorations have been installed by the Royal Collection Trust in the Lantern Lobby, the State Dining Room, the Grand Reception and the castle precincts. One tradition that was "born" at Windsor is the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree, taken from Windsor Great Park, which stands in St George's Hall every year.
The tree is typically dressed entirely in gold decorations, including miniature crowns, pine cone ornaments and twinkling fairy lights, finished with an angel sitting on the top. And it's not the only regal tree on show. Visitors will also be able to see a 12-foot-high Christmas tree adorned in shades of red and purple in-keeping with its location, the Crimson Drawing Room in the Semi-State Apartments. These were the private rooms of George IV and they are only open to visitors during the winter months.
Outside, wreaths have been placed around the castle's precinct and even the lampposts and lanterns will be decorated. Decorations aside, there are new exhibitions open for Christmas this year, including family-friendly performances of The Princess and the Pantomime, which will take place where the Queen performed pantomimes when a princess. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding attire is also on show at Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which will stay open until 6 January 2019.
After the Queen banned plastic straws and bottles on the royal estates earlier this year, reducing environmental impact has become increasingly important at the castle. This means that all of the decorations are kept and re-used in different configurations at either Windsor or the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where there is also a Christmas display each year for visitors to enjoy.
"Each year the Christmas trees are recycled and used for mulch," Morton told us. "All of the Christmas decorations are kept and re-used, and low energy LED lights are used throughout the Christmas display."
Although the monarch won't spend Christmas at her Windsor residence, she does get to enjoy the festive transformation at the castle each year. "The Queen is always shown the display just before she goes off to Sandringham for her Christmas break," Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts at the Royal Collection Trust told Country Living last year. There's no doubt these decorations have been given the royal seal of approval.
Windsor Castle at Christmas is open from 1 December 2018 to 6 January 2019.