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Published on March 20th, 2018 | by Alyssa Daniells

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Travelling to London for the Royal Wedding doesn’t have to be a royal pain.

With the Royal Wedding only two months away, if you haven’t planned your trip to London yet, there’s still time– but not much. Here’s what you need to know, plus a few tips from our insider on the House of Windsor (we didn’t know we had one, either.)

Hello, dahlings! It is I, Dame Calliope Priceworth-Falsus. My stirring life and times with the British Royal Family would leave you more shaken than 007’s vodka Martini. Frankly, these days I’m less Goldfinger/James Bond, and more Gold-Bond.® Alas, my jet-set life is about as active as the Concorde these days. So, fortunately for you, I’ve agreed to offer my insight as London Expert and Royal Correspondent on behalf of Flight Centre Canada.

I do think it’s adorable when you colonials express such an interest in royal weddings. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has even grabbed the attention of your neighbours to the south. This means it’s imperative to book travel to London for the Royal Wedding now. But wait until after you’ve read what I have to say, of course.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: The Royal Wedding

I am known in some circles (mainly those first-name basis groups where we sit in a church basement, in a circle) as Dame Calliope, not to be confused with the Damn Yankee, as some may or may not have referred to our dear Prince Harry’s Meghan. But, I’m not here to gossip! I am here to give you the insider tips, Hello! Magazine would have coveted– if they weren’t so fond of saying “Goodbye!” at the start of my phone calls to them.

Whether you view Queen Elizabeth as head of state, or heads-side of a coin toss, you already know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged to be married. Harry’s great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria may have infamously not been amused, but this charming power couple has certainly amused and captivated the world.

via GIPHY

The royal nuptials will take place on Saturday, May 19th 2018 at noon, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. This small church on the grounds of his grandmother’s usual home is where Prince Harry was christened by his parents, Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

While the hot Google buttons are more about Meghan Markle’s wedding dress (next to searches about her Suits, ha ha ha) I’m told Flight Centre travel consultants are being asked, “where can I see the Royal Wedding?”

Considering people are coming into a travel agency asking this question, I shall presume it pertains to geographical locale, and not which downtown pub might be showing it– seeing as it is likely not to be televised at all. For the best place to see Royal Wedding, fly to London UK and then head about 40 minutes east to Windsor if you want to be in the thick of things on May 19. As if  the City of London doesn’t already have a kinetic buzz, the energy approaching, and on the big, history-making day itself, will be incredible and unforgettable, dahlings.

Right now, nonstop flights to London start at $700 round-trip, taxes included, for travel during the week of the Royal Wedding. Most flights from Canada fly to London-Heathrow International Airport (LHR) but our chums at Flight Centre can also find you airfare deals to Gatwick (LGW) International Airport, too.

London Weather in Spring

Westminster Abbey

As any of my esteemed ties in the diplomatic, by that I mean extradited, world will tell you, Britain is a year-round destination, dahlings. It comes as no surprise, however, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose a May wedding date. Late spring is considered by many the best time to travel to London, where the temperatures are agreeably mild and warm and our verdant city parks are in full bloom.

Whether you wish to travel London like a local, book a guided tour of London or trip around Great Britain, you’ll want to enjoy the outdoors, from cool city pursuits, to charming countryside. London’s excellent railway systems make it easy to get around.

(Speaking of getting around– in my day, a red-blooded male = good. Red-haired male = a bonafide curse! Now, our Harry is engaged to a gorgeous actress and humanitarian, that young Ed Sheeran is music idol and sex symbol… ginger lads everywhere must be declaring, “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!” Am I right, dahlings?)

Four Royal Weddings and a funeral.

via GIPHY

Being the Royal insider and confidante that I am, I Dame Calliope am no stranger to royal weddings. Barred for life, yes — but stranger I am not! Historically, royal weddings are a grand time for national unity, celebration and cheap china sets emblazoned with the royal couple du jour‘s head at souvenir shops, more likely to end up in a flea market than on the dinner table.

Here are four of my favourite royal weddings and their three venues. (Incidentally, none of my own four weddings took place at any of the three churches, dahlings. Darn places double-booked, I swear.)

    • Westminster Abbey: This is a London must-see.  One of the world’s most famous churches, the striking Gothic cathedral has stood for over 1,000 years and remains a favoured locale of many a royal wedding, as well as the final resting place of British dignitaries and celebrated citizens. It is located by the Houses of Parliament, the iconic buildings on the River Thames, easily recognizable to any culture vulture, or those who frequent the steak sauce aisle of the supermarket.

      Notable weddings: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, 1947. When Harry’s Granny married, the joyous occasion was broadcast on the radio, thereby eliminating pressure on Her Majesty to match her wedding dress to her trademark sensible handbag and hat.  Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 2011. The young Royals’ wedding was the biggest of its kind since Prince Charles’ wed Lady Diana Spencer. Although the site of many happy occasions, Westminster Abbey was also where Princess Diana’s state funeral service occurred.
    • St. Paul’s Cathedral: Here is another of my London must-sees, and it’s also a wedding-cakewalk to get to, via the Embankment. It would take about 20 minutes on public transportation (if I were a commoner, which I am obviously not dahlings, I would absolutely buy a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus pass– ask your travel agent for more details.)Notable wedding: Charles and Diana, 1981. The couple chose St. Paul’s over the more traditional Westminster, as it could hold more guests and involved a longer royal wedding procession. Its dramatic domed roof is one of the jewels of the London skyline, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1697.
    • St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle: if this sounds familiar, that’s because St. George’s is where Harry and Meghan will tie the knot in May. Located on the grounds of Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s primary residences, the couple have gone for this venue most likely for its intimacy– St. George’s Chapel holds a measly 800 guests, in comparison to Westminster’s Abbey’s capacity of 2,000. I am quite certain it is for this reason, dahlings, that I didn’t make the guest list– I must have been 801. Either that or my invitation was lost in the mail, yet again. But as a tourist, this area is going to be a hotbed for global media and frenzied masses, so I’d suggest talking to your local Flight Centre travel agent on where to stay in Windsor.

Where is Windsor Castle?

beautiful-grounds-and-winding-road-leading-to-windsor-castle-for-the-royal-wedding

Now of course, dahlings, I was accustomed to going to Windsor all the time in my youth. Windsor, Ontario is more my stomping ground these days, mind you. But, I digress! Windsor Castle is the official residence of Her Majesty and like Buckingham Palace, is also accessible to tourists. You know when the Queen is in residence at Windsor, as the flag is flying at full mast. (Strangely enough, when I would approach the castle, the groundsmen would see me and go clamouring to change it to half-mast, so strange as I knew for a fact Lizzie was at home those days and can’t imagine why she wouldn’t be overjoyed to see me.)

From London, Windsor Castle takes less than an hour to get to by rail. Having insider privileges, in other words, getting the WiFi password at the Windsor Castle gift shop to Google it, I’ve discovered Prince Harry and Meghan are likely to have the Royal Wedding procession from Windsor Castle, along the High Street of Windsor, then returning to the Castle via the Long Walk, a majestic trail through Windsor Great Park. (Those days I attempted to surprise Lizzie at the Castle, it felt like an Extra Long Walk, let me tell you.)

via GIPHY

Windsor from London makes a lovely day trip for any lucky visitor. Obviously Windsor Castle will be closed for visits during the Royal Wedding week — take it from my experience dahlings, trying to show up unannounced and enter the grounds does not result in the royal treatment. If you’re pressed for time, I suggest a tour that includes Windsor Castle, Eton College (the famous school of Royals), Windsor Old Town and the lovely waterfront. You’ll find other worthwhile tours of Windsor that go on to explore Stonehenge and beautiful Bath.

Well dahlings, that is my two-cents (goodness knows that’s all that’s left in the Priceworth-Falsus estate these days.) This is Dame Calliope signing off, and do look into booking that trip to Britain soon, lovies. There’s a shaken Martini in it for me, at least that’s what they told me when I signed up for this.

Happy travels, dahlings!

Ready for the royal treatment? Book your flights to London, tours of Britain or UK vacation packages with the Experts. Visit us in-store, connect with us online, or call us at 1 877 967 5302. We promise we’ll get you the best prices out there — and we won’t seat you on a plane next to Dame Calliope.

 

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About the Author

Alyssa Daniells

Alyssa Daniells incorporates her two enduring passions, writing and travel, in her role as copywriter for Flight Centre.



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