ROYAL BRITS’ GREATEST HITS
Say yes to a holiday inspired by Harry and Meghan’s wedding
With less than a week until Prince Harry weds his American fiancee Meghan Markle in the chapel of Windsor Castle, Escape rounds up the royal couple’s top city spots.From their Kensington Palace home to their favourite pub, get a taste of regal London life.
KENSINGTON PALACE KENSINGTON GARDENS, LONDON W8,
There’s no place like home and very few homes like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love pad in Kensington Palace. The pretty little palace in Kensington Gardens has been Harry’s home since he was a child when he lived there with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. Now, the prince and his bride will reportedly move into Apartment 1, a 21-room flat next door to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who took over Princess Margaret’s former home.
The bride and groom currently live in Harry’s bachelor pad, Nottingham Cottage, which is also in the grounds of the palace.
The royal apartments are closed to the public but the main palace next door is open to visitors. It’s a charming building – first used by 17th century monarchs William and Mary, and Queen Victoria spent her childhood here. Inside there’s a fascinating exhibition of Diana’s dresses, Diana: Her Fashion Story, which has proved so popular it has been extended all year and expanded with additional outfits, as well as the new exhibition Victoria Revealed, with a collection of Queen Victoria’s jewels on display.
Admission: Adult £14.40 (about $26), child £7.20 (about $13).
HRP.ORG.UK HIGH STREET KENSINGTON LONDON W8 Kensington Palace is situated right alongside the up-market shopping area of High Street Kensington and like Diana before her, Meghan has been spotted doing some shopping along the strip. Her favourite stores include the high-end florist Kensington Flower Corner, outside St Mary Abbots Church, and the three-storey UK flagship of grocery stores, Whole Foods Market in The Barkers Building.
KENSINGTONFLOWERCORNER.CO.UK WHOLEFOODSMARKET.COM WINDSOR CASTLE WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE, No Harry and Meghan tour would be complete without heading just west of London to Windsor for a look around their wedding venue. The 11th century Windsor Castle is an imposing building, founded by William the Conqueror and still used as a weekend home by the Queen. It’s also the burial place of Henry VIII and Charles I. Open all year, you can walk through the magnificent State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, where the wedding ceremony is being held, and watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Full of treasures, one of the most popular is Queen Mary’s dollhouse, a 1920s masterpiece built for George V’s wife that even includes running water and electricity.
Admission: Adult £21.20, child £12.30.
ROYALCOLLECTION.ORG.UK FROGMORE HOUSE WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE Harry and Meghan’s evening reception is being held in Frogmore House, a royal residence near Windsor Castle. The house has been a royal retreat for 300 years – it was the home of Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and is full of treasures including artwork by Gainsborough, Leonardo da Vinci and Canaletto as well as a room full of items from the decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia. The home is usually only accessible to the public for three charity open days from June 5-7, but larger groups can also tour in August.
Admission: £10.30 per person.
ROYALCOLLECTION.ORG.UK BUCKINGHAM PALACE LONDON SW1 Meghan will have to get used to popping up to the Big House to visit her in-laws. It’s worth walking down the Mall to see the imposing palace and catch the Changing of the Guard, but you can also take a tour inside in summer time. Buckingham Palace is open to the public from July to September, when you can visit The State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews with its collection of royal coaches, including the Gold State Coach.
Admission: The State Rooms’ standard admission is £24 adult and £13.50 child. A Royal Day Out ticket includes admission to all three venues in Buckingham Palace,
MEGHAN WILL HAVE TO GET USED TO POPPING UP TO THE BIG HOUSE TO VISIT HER IN-LAWS
for £42.30 an adult and £23.30 a child. ROYALCOLLECTION.ORG.UK CLEAVE & COMPANY 1 BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON SW1 After a royal souvenir? A few minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace, you’ll find the court jewellers who made Meghan’s engagement ring, which consists of a diamond from Botswana surrounded by two more from Diana’s collection. Cleave & Company has a royal warrant and a long relationship with the palace. But you are out of luck if you want a copy of the ring as the jewellers declared it a one-off. Director Stephen Connelly said: “We’re not going to be making replicas of it.”
WWW.CLEAVE.COM WESTMINSTER ABBEY WESTMINSTER, LONDON SW1 Also situated near Buckingham Palace is Westminster Abbey, where William married Catherine in 2011, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, the Queen married Philip Mountbatten in 1947 and was subsequently crowned in 1953. A more historic building you will not find – it has been the coronation place of kings and queens since 1066 and is the burial site of everyone from Charles Darwin to Sir Winston Churchill and later this year, it has been announced, Professor Stephen Hawking.
Admission: Adult £22, child £9.
WESTMINSTER-ABBEY.ORG ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL ST PAUL’S CHURCHYARD, LONDON, EC4 The only royal couple to do things differently with their wedding venue was Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, who chose St Paul’s Cathedral for their 1981 nuptials, because it seated more people – they invited 3500 guests, compared with Harry and Meghan’s guest list of 600. This icon of the London skyline has been standing for 1400 years and was famously rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Admission: Adult £18, child £8.
STPAULS.CO.UK SLOANE STREET CHELSEA, LONDON SW1 For some more serious shopping, you can make like Meghan and head to Sloane Street, which runs from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square and then walk along the King’s Road in Chelsea. A favourite of Catherine and Diana before her, the long shopping strip is home to designer boutiques, from Harvey Nichols to Prada and chic restaurants like The Ivy Chelsea Garden – an offshoot of the famous West End eatery. Meghan has been spotted stocking up in the Heidi Klein beachwear store near Sloane Square and in the Sarah Chapman skincare shop nearby.
HEIDIKLEIN.COM SARAHCHAPMAN.NET WEST END THEATRE
Everyone loves taking in a West End show when in London – including Harry and Meghan. The pair was seen enjoying the smash-hit show
Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre
and The Curious incident of the Dog In the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre. The latter production is now on an international tour and hits Australia next month, showing in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.
Admission: Hamilton tickets from £37.50, ticketmaster.co.uk. Curious tickets from $99.90.
CURIOUSINCIDENT.COM.AU TWICKENHAM STADIUM WHITTON RD, TWICKENHAM TW2 The “home of rugby union” is Twickenham Stadium, or “Twickers” as it’s known locally, where you’ll find Harry for all the major events, as the prince is patron of the English rugby union and league, so Meghan had better read up on the rules if she wants to keep up. You can take backstage stadium tours on nonmatch days and visit the on-siteWorld Rugby Museum.
Admission: Museum only, adult £12.50, child £7.50, museum and stadium tour, adult £25, child £15.
ENGLANDRUGBY.COM WIMBLEDON TENNIS CLUB CHURCH RD, WIMBLEDON, LONDON SW19 Meanwhile, Meghan’s favourite sport is tennis and she has been seen in the stands at Wimbledon supporting her best friend Serena Williams. Tickets for the July tournament are by ballot, including overseas allocations, but there is a limited number made available each day – if you get there early enough. Diehard tennis fans camp on the grounds overnight to secure their place in the queue. If that’s too much effort, you can visit the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and tour the club instead.
Admission: Museum only, adult £13, child £8, museum and tour, adult £25, child £15.
WIMBLEDON.COM THE SANDS END PUB 135-137 STEPHENDALE RD, LONDON, SW6 For a royal pub lunch, try The Sands End pub in up-market Fulham. Previously owned by Harry’s buddy Mark Dyer, the couple enjoyed lunch here during one of Meghan’s early visits. Described as a slice of country in the city, it offers pub grub for the jet set with dishes such as crab fettuccine with bisque and wild black seabream with herb gnocchi.
THESANDSEND.CO.UK RAF 100 FLYPAST BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON SW1 This year marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and to celebrate, on July 10, 1500 servicemen and women will march in the RAF 100 parade with a huge fly-past over Buckingham Palace featuring 100 past and current aircraft. The royals are head of the RAF – the Queen is Air Commodore in Chief and Harry is Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, the home of the RAF, so it is expected most of the family will attend.
RAF.MOD.UK RALPH & RUSSO 40 PARK ST, MAYFAIR, LONDON W1 For her official engagement photos, Meghan chose a $100,000 couture gown by Ralph & Russo, a Britishbased label by Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo. For those wanting to emulate the bride, the brand has a couture and ready-towear range at their Mayfair store and a stand-alone store within Harrods.
RALPHANDRUSSO.COM PHILIPPA CRADDOCK AT SELFRIDGES SELFRIDGES, OXFORD ST, LONDON W1 Harry and Meghan selected society florist Philippa Craddock to do the flowers at their wedding. Fulhambased Craddock, who has worked for designer labels including Alexander McQueen, Dior and Vogue will use locally-sourced foliage. “Where possible, Philippa will use flowers and plants that are in season and blooming naturally in May, including branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves,” Kensington Palace said. For those wanting a royal bouquet of their own, Craddock has a concession in Selfridges department store.
PHILIPPACRADDOCK.COM CLAIRE PTAK BAKERY 47 WILTON WAY, LONDON E8 The baker chosen for the wedding cake was Claire Ptak, who runs Violet Cakes in Hackney, East London. Like florist Philippa Craddock, Ptak uses seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes and the couple has chosen elderflower over the traditional fruit cake. “Prince Harry and Ms Markle have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring,” Kensington Palace said. You can visit her bakery – just expect to queue.
MEGHAN’S FAVOURITE SPORT IS TENNIS AND SHE HAS BEEN SEEN AT WIMBLEDON SUPPORTING FRIEND SERENA WILLIAMS
Follow in the footsteps of the happy couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as they prepare for their London wedding of the year. WINDSOR CASTLE
RALPH & RUSSO STORE
Take a breather from all the high-end Sloane Street shopping at the chic restaurant, The Ivy Chelsea Garden; florist Philippa Craddock will beautify the royal nuptials with white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves.