The countdown begins for what has been dubbed the “wedding of the century.” And we can’t wait!
The Royal Wedding takes place on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 11am (London time) at Westminster Abbey. As a fellow Brit, I’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn (just like I did for Princess Diana’s wedding) to watch the royal nuptials take place. The service starts at 3am San Francisco time (6am East Coast time), but hey… if we can’t be there in person, this is the next best thing. Luckily Barry’s an early riser so he’ll be there to keep me company and make sure we get our tea/coffee fix to see us through the morning. We were in London for Prince Andrew’s wedding and still remember standing along the Mall for 8 hours to catch a glimpse of the Royal Carriage – and a little later, the Prince and his bride Fergie waving to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It was such a special moment. And this Royal Wedding is going to be even more magical – as Prince William, the future King of England, marries his true love, Kate Middleton. I’m sure Princess Diana will be looking down and smiling 🙂
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds will travel by royal carriage along a processional route to Buckingham Palace. Millions of people are expected to line London’s streets to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. If we were in London, we’d be there for sure, but watching on TV in the comfort of your home isn’t bad either. The route: Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and the Mall. Queen Elizabeth II will host a reception at Buckingham Palace. Later, Prince Charles will host a dinner and dancing at Clarence House. It should be quite an evening – wouldn’t ya have just loved an invitation!
If you’re planning a visit across the pond during this time (or later in the year), we’ve put together some Fun Things To Do in London.
Keep the romance alive. Take your honey for a ride on the London Eye Observation Wheel. The giant ferris wheel is the largest of its kind in Europe. You can move about the capsule to see London from all angles, including famous landmarks and attractions. It’s especially romantic at night – you can even reserve a Private Capsule with champagne.
During the Summer, when the Palace is not being used in its official capacity, visitors can tour The State Rooms. Visit the Throne Room, the Music Room, and the Ballroom. See where the Queen awards knighthoods – the official sword is on display in a clear glass case. British medals and awards, including OBE’s, MBE’s, CBE’s and more are also displayed. The Throne Room was the highlight of our palace tour – it’s one thing to see it on TV, but quite another to be there in person. Now if only the Queen were to make an appearance.
London’s Top 10 Tours include:
- London In One Day Sightseeing Tour
- Original London Sightseeing Tour – “Hop-On Hop-Off” Double-Decker Bus
- London Thames River Dinner Cruise
- Buckingham Palace, Eton and Windsor Castle Tour
- London Pass for London Eye and Sightseeing Attractions
- London Theater, Shows & Musicals
- London Custom Day Trip: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford
- Beatles and Liverpool Rail Trip from London
- Stonehenge Private Viewing, Bath & Lacock Day Trip from London
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Day Trip from London
See the world famous Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London. See the Tower’s most infamous sites, including Traitors Gate and the Execution Site – and the Imperial State Crown with its 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 5 rubies, as well as the crests or seals of all the monarchs of Britain from William the Conqueror to the present Queen.
No trip to London would be complete without experiencing an afternoon “High Tea” and visiting a local Pub and enjoying a traditional English meal of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, washed down with a pint of Guinness. Indian cuisine is also especially good in London – and like the Pubs, there are more Indian restaurants in and around London than you can count. And contrary to popular belief, Chicken Tikka Masala is the U.K.’s national dish… NOT Fish & Chips anymore!
Where will you be during the Royal Wedding? What are some of your favorite things to do and places to eat in London?