For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a Royal Wedding.
For the Rest of Us: Royal Tours
With the couple’s nuptials on the horizon, travel brands are offering themed hotel packages and viewing parties. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is mere weeks away — and the recent news that the couple will have a carriage procession around Windsor Town after their nuptials at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle — hotels and tour companies are trotting out packages for royal watchers.
In Britain it’s easy to create your own royal-inspired itinerary with, say, a riverboat ride on the Thames and a visit to Windsor Castle (though note that the castle will be closed on May 18 and 19). From London to Windsor, there will be wedding-themed tea parties, and plenty of bars and pubs from which to watch the festivities (they are widely expected to be televised) and celebrate into the night.
In Windsor, the wedding day carriage procession route from St. George’s Chapel will be via Castle Hill, along High Street and through Windsor Town, and then back to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk, according to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead tourism site. But for those who want to go a step further, there are royal wedding packages at hotels and, should you prefer to relish the big day with fellow fans, group tours.
Among the most comprehensive is the eight-day Royal Wedding Celebration in England. Inside the British Monarchy tour from Road Scholar, the experiential learning travel company. The tour includes an indoor hotel-viewing party with picnic food as well as stops at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, as well as talks from former royal staff members about how to organize a security team of thousands of people, and the art of creating a royal cake.
The Original Tour, which has long offered open-top, hop-on hop-off bus tours of London, has begun, for the first time, operating daily bus tours of Windsor, just months before the royal wedding. The bus passes places such as Windsor Castle, Eton College (attended by both Prince William and Prince Harry) and the Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop.
There are a variety of day tours to be had in and around London. If you’re considering signing up for one on May 19, be aware that in general, day tours that regularly visit Windsor Castle will not be visiting the castle that day. Companies like Evan Evans, for instance, which typically offers a day tour with stops at Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath, will visit Hampton Court Palace, the former home of Henry VIII, on that day instead of Windsor Castle. The same is true for Golden Tours, which leads a Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge tour but on the 19th will also visit Hampton Court Palace rather than Windsor Castle.
Many leading Windsor hotels are already booked that day, though properties nearby and in London are selling royal-inspired getaways. You can even find a vacation rental promising the occasional wedding-themed amenity. “If you are coming during the Royal wedding, there will be a complimentary Champagne hamper provided to help kick off the celebrations,” read one Airbnb listing for a home in Windsor.
At the Arch London boutique hotel, the Royal Wedding package is available throughout May and includes amenities like:
- two-bedroom suite
- three-course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Hunter 486
- Champagne breakfast
- afternoon tea
- tour of Windsor Castle (not on May 18 or 19) and
- a shopping voucher to Fortnum & Mason, the tea and gift shop.
One Aldwych in London
At One Aldwych in London, there will be a Royal Wedding Celebration Package on weekends in May. For an additional cost, you can order a “royal bouquet” with peonies (reported to be a favorite flower of Ms. Markle) and a sprig of myrtle (often used in royal brides’ bouquets since the 1800s).
The Hotel Café Royal
The Hotel Café Royal is offering a Regent Royal Wedding package from April 1 to June 21. It includes amenities like:
- accommodations in a suite
- a limousine tour to Windsor Castle to visit the Chapel and The State Apartments
- a picnic hamper for your day out
- a royal wedding memorabilia gift and
- an English breakfast
Not posh enough? You can stay in the hotel’s Empire suite with the Empire Royal Wedding package, which includes all of the above as well as additional amenities such as
- a helicopter tour of London and
- tickets to the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
Hop across “The Pond”
Although the wedding is taking place in Britain, that isn’t stopping hotels in the US from partaking in the festivities.
Among them, the Drake Hotel in Chicago, is offering:
- “Film and Fondue” series Monday nights in May with
- movies such as “The Queen,” “Elizabeth — The Golden Age,” and “Victoria and Abdul”
- royal-themed sweets, snacks, teas and bar specials
- 10% of the proceeds from beverages on the Royal Cocktail Menu in May will be donated to Prince Harry’s endorsed charity, the Invictus Games Foundation
- On the wedding day itself, the hotel is planning a
- screening of the royal festivities and
- luncheon in the grand ballroom that was once served to Princess Diana during her visit to the hotel in 1996. (Reservations are required.)
Source: NY Times, March 9, 2018, Author: Stephanie Rosenbloom
Whatever your preference, there are many ways to celebrate this monumental wedding in style.