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'Are we at war with Norway?' Brits mock 'sad' gifted Trafalgar Square Christmas tree

Norway's more impressive gift lit up in London's Trafalgar Square last year
Norway's more impressive gift lit up in London's Trafalgar Square last year Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Shannon McDonagh
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Norway has selected and delivered one of its best Christmas trees to London every year since 1947 as a festive gift. What went wrong this year?


Every year since 1947, Norway ships over a homegrown Christmas tree to London to create the centrepiece of the capital's Trafalgar Square festive display.

It symbolises the country's recognition for Britain's support during World War II.

The trees are 25 metres in height, and often selected months, if not years in advance.

A special ceremony even takes place in November where political figures attend the felling of the tree.

This year, many Brits are under the impression that something is awry, given the underwhelming stature of Norway's latest 'gift'.

Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself.

How did this happen?

Trafalgar Square's new tree first appeared yesterday and was posted by Twitter user Dan Barker.

As you can see, it's not the most conventional example of a traditional Nordic fir tree.

The internet has been in a near-permanent state of mockery ever since. Many couldn't help but feel that it was a little...lacking?

One British journalist going as far as to ask: is Britain at war with Norway now?

Jokes about failed Hermes and Interflora deliveries swirled around the internet, so much so that the latter company's social media team had their work cut out for them distinguishing where the real complaints were.

They didn't always get it right.

But this was cleverly rectified.

Worse in daylight

Dan Barker returned to Twitter the following day to provide an update of what the tree looks like in daylight.

It seems as though nothing can save the public from thinking it's either: A) a joke or B) a message from Norway that Britain has done something to upset them.

Some keen Christmas tree-watchers have this is part of a wider pattern.

More so, when you compare it to other trees across London.

It must be noted that many of Europe's grandest Christmas displays – including other London locations – are composed of several trees to bulk them up.


The tree in Trafalgar Square stands alone.

Ultimately, it's a pretty solid summary of how 2021 panned out for most of the country.

A Norweigan Christmas tree defence squad soon assembled

Not everybody took glee in being unkind about London's latest festive addition.

Richard Wood, the British Ambassador to Norway (insert Beatles joke here) has some defensive words to say about the situation, having been present for its selection.

His defence was that "Twitter isn't real life", suggesting images of the tree had been misrepresented.


Though it's clear to see the tree does look a lot fuller in his video, shot a month earlier, is it possible some damage was done on its journey?

Others assembled to defend the tree's unconventional appearance. It's not very British to moan in the face of mediocrity, after all.

And the tree agreed, using its new fan club as a prime opportunity to promote its lights being switched on at 6 pm Thursday night.

There's always next year.

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