No symbol captures the joy of the holiday season more than a Christmas tree. The centuries-old tradition of decorating trees originated with Protestant Christians in 16th century Germany and gained popularity in other countries in the early 19th century when the nobility and members of the upper class spread the custom throughout Europe. The practice of bringing in trees (usually an evergreen cone, but also spruce, pine, or fir) and adorning them with candles and sweets became even more widespread after the marriage of England’s Queen Victoria to her German cousin Prince Albert in 1814 as middle-class households followed the Royal Family’s fashion of decorating seasonal trees. Today, it’s hard to imagine homes and public spaces without a decorated tree during Christmas; the colors, lights, and sparkle bring a special kind of magic to any interior. Here are how some of the world’s illustrious personalities have decorated their Christmas trees in 2020.
The British Royal Family
A majestic 20-foot Norway spruce tree commands attention in St. George’s Hall in the royal residence of Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. Festooned with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments and topped with a luxuriously-garbed angel, this stunning tree is one of the highlights of the displays in Windsor Castle which is open to the public during the holiday season.
As founder and Creative Director of AERIN, the luxury fragrance brand, and Style and Image Director of cosmetics empire Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder knows a thing or two about style. Her gorgeous Christmas tree this year brightens a corner of her elegant yet cozy library. Other festive touches like glass ornaments in silver bowls and a fresh garland fill this inviting space with the spirit of the holidays.
Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Princess Mary
As the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark, Prince Frederik, his wife Princess Mary, and their four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine, enjoy the traditional Christmas tree that’s been set up in the Crown Prince’s family home. Simple ornaments in bright hues add color and whimsy while frosty icicles dangle from the tree’s lush branches.
As Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of fashion label Tory Burch LLC, designer/philanthropist Tory Burch’s name is synonymous with luxury and sophistication. Yet for her tree this year, Burch decided to go with something simple. “2020 felt like the perfect year for a tiny, crooked Christmas tree,” she wrote on an Instagram post. It may be small, but her collection of precious glass ornaments enhance its charm and character.
Martyn Laurence Bullard
As the interior designer of choice for many of Hollywood’s A-listers, Martin Laurence Bullard is renowned for his maximalist style, attention to detail, and commitment to quality. This multi-awarded designer from England is also a best-selling author and TV personality whose style has been described as “eclectic, luxurious, sophisticated, comfortable, and fearless.” As always, the festive Christmas tree that decorates his swank Los Angeles residence this year looks as fabulous and vibrant as the rest of the home’s décor.
Famous the world over for her bestselling cookbooks and television show appearances, Nigella Lawson has made a stellar career for herself with dishes that are uncomplicated, relaxed, and deeply satisfying. It’s not a surprise then to see that the Christmas tree she put up in her home this year is as simple and as delightful as her culinary concoctions.
Glamorous, gorgeous, sexy. These are just some of the words associated with the Italian label Versace. At the helm of this billion-dollar luxury empire (it was sold to Michael Kors’ Capri Holdings in 2018) sits Chief Creative Officer Donatella Versace. Donatella is not just a savvy businesswoman running one of the world’s most successful brands, she’s a brilliant designer in her own right. In a recent Instagram post, she gives us a glimpse of her chic Christmas tree with its gold trimmings and lustrous ornaments, a look that’s very on-brand with the celebrated Versace name.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden
The son of Sweden’s King Carl VI Gustav and Queen Silvia, Prince Carl Philip is a tireless patron of several organizations such as The Swedish National Dyslexia Association (The Prince has dyslexia, as does his father The King and also his sister, Crown Princess Victoria). He and his wife established Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s Foundation in 2015, the purpose of which is to counteract bullying. Just this month, the Royal Couple announced that they are expecting a third child by the middle of next year. The Christmas tree they have in Villa Solbacken, the home they share with their two sons, Prince Gabriel and Prince Alexander, is a relatively simple affair with traditional ornaments giving it a festive touch.
American designer Christian Siriano first gained attention in the fashion industry after winning Season 4 of Project Runway in 2008. Today, he owns and runs a multi-million dollar eponymous fashion line and dresses numerous celebrities for the Red Carpet in his show-stopping gowns and dresses. This year, 35-year-old Siriano decorated his modernist Connecticut home with a 12-foot tree that practically touches the ceiling. To make it look lush and sumptuous, he filled the tree with dried hydrangeas, wooden ornaments, and other natural elements.
Who hasn’t heard of Martha Stewart? As the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the 79-year old businesswoman/author/television personality is one of the most successful and recognizable women on the planet. Known mainly for her “lifestyle” brand that includes home decorating, she is the first female self-made billionaire in the U.S.A. As one can expect from the meticulous Stewart, the silver Christmas tree (one of many!) she has in the library of her summer home is picture-perfect with its pearly-white ornaments and “snow-dusted” pinecones.