The tradition of a Christmas tree started in Germany in the 1790’s but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that the custom made it’s way to England. Prince Albert, the Queen’s husband, born and raised in Germany, introduced the custom to his family. In 1848 an engraving of the Royal Family decorating their tree was published in Illustrated London News, pictured on the left, which popularized the custom.
Deforestation was becoming a concern in Germany and artificial Christmas trees were strongly advocated. The tree in the engraving is what is known as goose-feather tree, made with goose, swan, ostrich, or turkey feathers. If the feathers were white they were sometimes left so, otherwise they were dyed green to resemble a pine.
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