Ronan’s Insider Tips on the Royal Wedding
Soon, Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry in Westminster Abbey and all over England, the excitement is palpable. Prince William has declared that he wants a party, and that's what he'll get with a declared bank holiday and huge gatherings planned in places like Hyde Park and on Clapham Commons. We asked Ronan, our London destination host to give us some insight into just what is going into the celebration of 2011! Here's what he had to share:
1. Rooms with Views
London preparations are in full swing and Ronan reports that the wedding procession will pass by the Mall to the north of St. James's Park. The London Quintess and DUO properties are situated near St. James' Palace and in the midst of what's happening in the city, so a prime spot for watching the procession is just a two-minute walk from the residences. Members staying in London will actually see the pageantry from the windows of the St. James home or the terrace of the new DUO St. James Loft!
2. A Showcase of Beautiful Things
While thousands of visitors are making plans and strategizing their best vantage points , Ronan has some other ideas for how members can join in the celebrations.
During the days leading up to the wedding on April 29, guides are offering a Will and Kate Royal Wedding Walk to visit the young couple's local haunts and, of course, the royal family's many palaces in the Westminster area. This tour is proving incredibly popular, and visitor numbers to Westminster Abbey (where royal marriages have taken place for centuries) have increased in recent months. Don't forget that you can also see royal history treasures in the Westminster Abbey Museum located in the 11th-century vaulted undercroft beneath the former monks dormitory. It's one of the oldest areas of the Abbey dating back almost to the foundation of the Norman church by Edward the Confessor in 1065 and the Museum is available for cocktail receptions and private tours in the evenings.
Of course, speculation about what the bride will wear in the grandeur of the Gothic church is buzzing world-wide. Designer Sarah Burton is the latest candidate rumored to be designing Kate's dress, and her new collection for Alexander McQueen wowed fashionistas in Paris with a distinct wedding theme, so expectations are running high around her involvement with the dress of the year. Quintess and DUO members can visit the local Alexander McQueen boutique on legendary Bond Street just five minutes away from the London residences to see Sarah Burton's creations up close.
3. Modern Giving
Whether you're in London for the festivities or watching from another location, the young royals' wedding is a modern affair with requests for charity donations in lieu of presents and attention to eco-friendly options. Like other young couples, they have a wedding website and if you're looking for details, you can see their official photos on the British Monarchy's flickr photostream.
By the way, Ronan adds that if you're hunting for the perfect royal wedding souvenir, you won't be disappointed with the selection. Memorabilia ranges from the official, the dubious, to the alternative, and the downright playfully genius!
Finally, if you're still checking your box for tickets to the wedding (perhaps it got lost in the post?) Ronan has another tip—get dressed in your finest wedding frocks and head over to the Southbank Arts Centre for the Alternative Royal Wedding Reception, a day of comedy and cabaret!
So are you a royal wedding watcher? What are your plans for joining the festivities?
~ Deborah-Eve, Guest Contributor