In pictures: Windsor Christmas lights switch on

James Harrison

Thousands of fans of the festive season braved the cold to see the switch flipped on Windsor's Christmas Lights - which this year came with a European twist.

About 3,000 people crammed into Castle Hill and Thames Street, in the town centre, on Saturday to see the illuminations as well as the official unveiling of a 40ft Christmas tree donated by the town of Coburg in Germany.

Once the home of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the husband of Queen Victoria and the man who first popularised Christmas trees in the 1840s, the Nordmann Fir was given to mark the current monarch's 90th birthday.

The town also sent a delegation including its mayor, Dr. Birgit Weber, and traditional Christ Child, who joined the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Sayonara Luxton, to turn on the lights.

Ex-Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner, who is set to star in this year's pantomime at the Theatre Royal Windsor, was also present, while entertainment was provided by Pop Goes the Choir, the Egham Band and the Royal Free Singers, among others.

Speaking afterwards, Windsor and Eton town manager Paul Roach said: "It was an absolute dream of a night.

"We had a great turnout, the weather was perfect and the tree - I think we've got one of the best looking in the country.

"The team from Coburg were so diligent, they spent about two days working on it and it's been worth it."

He added: "This has got to be one of the best I've done and I've been doing it since about 2004."


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