Eighty-year-old Christmas tree switched on in London's Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Tree

Thursday, December 6, 2018

An 80-year-old Christmas tree has been lit up in London's Trafalgar Square in a special ceremony attended by hundreds.

The 21-metre high Norweigan Spruce was donated by Norway as a thank you for Britain's assistance in the Second World War. 

The tree started growing around the time World War Two broke out, and has been described as "very symbolic" by the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, who was in attendance at the switch on event.

The tree lit up in Trafalgar Square, London. Image: Samantha King

Ms Borgen revealed this year's tree had been chosen 20 years ago, and was one of 15 earmarked as good enough to be donated.

"Our forester is very, very competent and they chose this tree around 20 years ago," Ms Borgen said.

She added: "They also talked to it and hugged it, so this tree has been spoiled over the years it has been in Oslo."

Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Lindsey Hall (left) and Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen, during the switch on. Image: Yui Mok/PA

The felling of the giant tree in Norway was attended by Ms Borgen and  Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Lindsey Hall, who both helped cut it down in front of an audience of carol-singing schoolchildren.

The city of Oslo has gifted a tree to Britain every year since 1947.

"I think we have such an enduring relationship and great friendship and it goes back many many years - nothing will rock that," Ms Hall said.

"I think we both have our idiosyncrasies and independencies - which obviously we are trying to square off with Brexit."