The most beloved Christmas tree in the UK, perhaps the biggest, certainly the one with the most royalty hanging off the boughs, is returning to Trafalgar Square this evening at 5.45pm. As traditional and eagerly anticipated as the lucky loose change embedded in grandma's Christmas pudding, the enormous Picea abies aka Norwegian spruce, often over 20 metres high, is given to London by Norway each year as a gesture of gratitude for British support in World War II. The vertical strings of lights is the traditional Norwegian way of decorating Christmas trees and the bulbs are energy efficient types which should placate the increasingly green David Cameron-types.
It's been turning up, with lights, dignitaries and a star on top each year since 1947, and this evening it will be welcomed to its regular spot under Nelson's Column by HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the Mayor of Oslo and the Mayor of Westminster. Music and general Christmas atmosphere will be provided by Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Norwegian boys choir Sølvguttene. We bet you two mince pies and a bag of roasted chestnuts that you can't resist going "Ooooh!" when you see it.
The Christmas tree will be in Trafalgar Square for the rest of the Christmas period.