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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 21:03 GMT
Princess lights up Christmas tree
The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square
The tree is a gift from Norway
The lighting of the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, a highlight of London's festive period, has taken place.

A Norwegian Spruce, complete with garlands of energy-efficient light bulbs, was switched on by Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.

The huge tree has been an annual gift from Norway since 1947 in gratitude for Britain's support in World War II.

It was felled from forests near Oslo in November and brought to Britain by sea.

A specialist rigging team erected it in the square, where it remains until 6 January before being recycled.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "For many Londoners the Christmas tree and carol singing in Trafalgar Square signal the countdown to Christmas."

The princess was accompanied by her mother Crown Princess Mette-Marit for the switching on ceremony.


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