BY ROYAL AP­POINT­MENT

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pre­pare to marry this May, Chan­tal Bor­ciani ex­plores the his­toric palaces and se­cret gems of the royal bor­oughs they will call home.

Exclusively British - - CONTENTS - 26.

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pre­pare to marry this May, we ex­plore the his­toric palaces and se­cret gems of the royal bor­oughs they will call home.

EVER SINCE PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE an­nounced their en­gage­ment last Novem­ber, wed­ding fever has been grow­ing at a pace. Whether you’re plan­ning to line the cob­bled streets of Wind­sor to glimpse the happy cou­ple on their big day or sim­ply want to ex­plore Meghan’s favourite Lon­don haunts, we have the per­fect guide to get you em­braced by the royal wed­ding spirit.

Whim­si­cal Wind­sor

The royal bor­ough of Wind­sor will be tak­ing cen­tre stage this May as the happy cou­ple marry in St Ge­orge’s Chapel in the grounds of Wind­sor Cas­tle. An easy 55-minute train from cen­tral Lon­don, Wind­sor is per­fect for a his­toric day trip. Sur­rounded by the Horse­shoe Clois­ters and pro­tected by the im­pos­ing Henry VIII gate, the chapel is lo­cated in the lower ward of Wind­sor Cas­tle and con­struc­tion started in 1475 by Ed­ward IV and was com­pleted un­der Henry VIII in 1528. The Queen spends most of her pri­vate week­ends at Wind­sor Cas­tle, which dates back more than 900 years and has been home to 39 mon­archs. Founded by Wil­liam the Con­queror in the 11th cen­tury, it re­mains the old­est and largest oc­cu­pied cas­tle in the world and is open to vis­i­tors all year round – though, of course, not on the day of the wed­ding. Tours of the cas­tle in­clude en­try to the mag­nif­i­cent State Apart­ments and St Ge­orge's Chapel where ser­vices and choral recitals are open to the pub­lic through­out the year.

On the water­front

While the streets of Wind­sor will be abuzz with throngs of well wishers on the big day, the quaint mar­ket places of Wind­sor are a plea­sure all year round. Those in the know head to the river­side to glimpse the best views of the an­cient tur­rets of Wind­sor Cas­tle. A va­ri­ety of river­boats and steam­ers op­er­ate along this stretch of the River Thames with the cruises of­fer­ing stun­ning views of Wind­sor Great Park, the cas­tle and pres­ti­gious Eton Col­lege. Why not make a day of it and en­joy an af­ter­noon tea or cham­pagne tea on board?

Work off any in­dul­gences with a walk through Green Park to Buck­ing­ham Palace and be sure not to miss the Royal Mews, which is home to the royal col­lec­tion of his­toric coaches and car­riages and is con­sid­ered to be one of the finest work­ing sta­bles in ex­is­tence. The Mews is re­spon­si­ble for all road travel ar­range­ments for The Queen and mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily and its dis­play in­cludes the Gold State Coach, which has been used at ev­ery coro­na­tion since that of Ge­orge IV in 1821, and The Di­a­mond Ju­bilee State Coach For a pew and a pint, jour­ney to The Sands End pub in Fulham, where Meghan and Harry en­joyed a cosy lunch. The pub is owned by Harry's friend Mark Dyer and serves high-end, clas­sic English dishes. For Harry’s favourite din­ner spot in the cap­i­tal, the ro­man­tic Le Clos Mag­giore restau­rant near Covent Gar­den is pick of the crop. When the time comes to lay your head down there are a plethora of his­toric Lon­don ho­tels to pick from but for the ul­ti­mate royal wed­ding ex­pe­ri­ence book in at The Gor­ing. This small lux­ury ho­tel is where Kate Mid­dle­ton stayed be­fore her wed­ding to Prince Wil­liam and is the old­est pri­vately owned lux­ury ho­tel in Lon­don. Just a stone’s throw from Buck­ing­ham Palace, you’ll be sure to sleep like roy­alty.

We hope you will also en­joy our Walk in the foot­steps of Roy­alty fea­ture (p38-45).

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