The Trafalgar Square tree is a tradition which has been ongoing for the past 70 years. Since 1947, it has been donated yearly by the people of Norway, as a token of gratitude due to World War 2 events. One such event is the 1940 escape from Nazi invasion of Norway’s King Haakon VII to England. The Norwegian Government headquarters were then set up in London, from where war news were broadcast in Norwegian, along with messages and information vital to the resistance movement in Norway.
The tree itself will usually be 50 or 60 years old! After a careful selection process the tree, usually over 20 metres high, is cut in November in a formal ceremony. This year’s tree has arrived on English land, is 21 metres high, and is unusually accompanied by a £182,000 Aston Martin DB11 car, complete with a 6ft Scottish Norway Spruce tree on its roof, courtesy of Autocar magazine.
The Scottish Spruce and fabulous car accompanied this year’s tree all the way on a 500-mile journey from North East Lincolnshire to Autocar magazine's office in London due to a special Christmas feature in the magazine.
The tree was displayed on December 6th in its lighting ceremony accompanied by carol singers, school children reading poetry and various London officials such as the Mayor of Westminster and the Norwegian Ambassador.
In the past few years the decoration of the tree has become somewhat ridiculed, most famously in 2016, the tree was repeatedly described on twitter as a “gherkin draped in lights” and a “cucumber”. Hopefully this year’s display will be more welcomed!