Possible Royal Baby Names and their Significance

Britain is buzzing with excitement over the imminent arrival of Meghan and Harry’s little one. As with each new royal baby, one of the questions on everyone’s lips is “what will they name their new addition?” Many names have gained regal status over the centuries, but will the modern couple choose a name with royal significance? With so many elements and hundreds of years of history to consider, we’ve looked at a few possible options that might make the couple’s baby name shortlist…

 

Royal names for boys:

 

Albert – taken from the German words for ‘noble’ and ‘bright’, the name Albert saw a surge of popularity in the 1800s following the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 10 February 1840. While fans of the royal family wait to discover if Harry and Meghan will breathe new life into this traditional choice, why not delve into the history of Prince Albert on a visit to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or Osbourne House?

Arthur – associated with the legendary King Arthur, who according to medieval literature led Britain to victory against the Saxons in the fifth century, this historic name conjures images of heroic acts and strong leadership. Having recently seen a surge in popularity, the name ranked in the top 20 baby names in the UK last year, making it a strong contender for Harry and Meghan’s new addition! And while many of the festivities surrounding the royal baby will focus on London, fans of the name (and the legend of King Arthur) can venture further afield to Cornwall – legend has it that King Arthur was conceived in Tintagel, a rocky outcrop upon which Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a castle in the 1200s.

Alexander – although famous as the name of Alexander III, ‘Kings of Scots’, the name itself comes from the Greek word meaning ‘defender of men’. Could Meghan and Harry bring Alexander back into the royal limelight? While we wait to find out, why not trace the history of this famous Scottish king at the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, his birthplace in 1241, or the astounding Dunfermline Abbey and Palace, his final resting place and the burial ground of many of Scotland’s most renowned medieval rulers.

Charles – not popular in Britain until the reign of King Charles I in the 1600s, today this name is best known for being that of Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles. Would a tribute to the Queen’s eldest son and the baby’s grandfather be a fitting gesture? To really get a feel for the life of Prince Charles, visit the part of Wales where he spends the most time, the picturesque Llwynywermod, in Carmarthenshire.

Edward – a name given to several kings of England throughout history, Edward is said to have originated from the Old English words ead meaning ‘wealth’ and weard meaning ‘guard’. Would Meghan and Harry consider naming their little prince, Edward?  To walk in the footsteps of a royal Edward, explore the grand Eltham Palace. Gifted to the monarch in 1305, it became a highly visited royal residence up until the 1500s.

Henry – famously, or perhaps infamously, known for being the name of many a king of England, including Henry VIII, the moniker originally comes from the German words meaning ‘home-ruler’. Henry has seen a rise in popularity over the last few years, which could make this royal name a tempting choice for the couple. Visitors to London can trace the footsteps of Henry VIII himself on visits to Hampton Court Palace, Hever Castle (the family home of Anne Boleyn), the Banqueting House at Whitehall and Windsor Castle, where he is buried.

 

Royal names for girls:

 

Elizabeth – a name synonymous with strong female monarchs, if the couple choose Elizabeth for their little princess, it could be a fantastic homage to Queen Elizabeth II. Having recently celebrated her 93rd birthday, Her Royal Highness is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and there are plenty of fantastic royal locations where you can walk in her footsteps, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle and the Sandringham Estate.

Louise – much like Meghan Markle herself, Princess Louise was known as being a strong advocate for feminism, education and the arts. The sixth child of Queen Victoria, the princess was determined to be seen as a normal person and was known for having an unconventional streak, traits that might make this name an appealing option for the royal couple. In the meantime, fans of the name can discover more on trips to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, some of the favoured residences of Princess Louise.

Matilda – Empress Matilda was the daughter of King Henry I and the first woman in history to make a claim to the English crown. Derived from the German meaning ‘strength in battle’, the name Matilda is another possible choice for the royal couple, while the Empress’ birthplace, Sutton Courtenay, in Oxfordshire, is a former royal vill with an interesting history, making it a popular choice for a day trip for royal fans on a visit to London.

Victoria – perhaps the most famous queen of England, the reign of Queen Victoria has been immortalised throughout the ages in film, literature and art. The name itself comes from the Roman goddess of victory – a fitting namesake for a monarch who defined an era. Although a more unusual choice in recent years, the name’s noble history means it could be an ideal choice for the couple’s first child. Visitors to Britain can discover more about the monarch herself on trips to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Osbourne House.

Baby gifts fit for a Royal

As Meghan Markel and Prince Harry prepare to welcome their new born into the world, the newest addition to the royal family is bound to be lavished with beautiful gifts by excited family members and well-wishers. Set to become the Queen’s eighth great grandchild, the pair’s little one will be seventh in line to the British throne.

Prince George is used to setting fashion trends around the world by now, favouring British designer Rachel Riley for her traditional cuts and styles, while Princess Charlotte has followed suit. Both have been spotted in her creations, evoking memories of royal looks from the 1950s.

Here are a few more charming gift ideas from around Britain fit for any cherished prince or princess...

Style Setter

Stella McCartney Kids has lots of quirky pieces to make little ones stand out from the crowd. The Fruit and Vegetable inspired collections are delightfully playful.

For ultra-stylish unisex designs, look to British brand Tootsa MacGinty. Colourful t-shirts and jumpers with fun animal designs, like the yellow Giraffe Striped Jumper and Fox Jacquard Knit are ideal for playtime.

Bathing Baby

Bath time has never looked so chic with The Little White Company's fabulous hooded robe – a little bit of affordable luxury. Made of super soft, absorbent and fast drying hydrocotton and with cute little teddy bear ears on the hood, it's perfect for wrapping babies in straight from the bath.

Send babies off to sleep after bath time with Earthbound Organics' gentle, soothing, calming and healing Baby's Massage Oil. The independent company handpick many ingredients for their all-natural products from the hedgerows of the Welsh countryside.

Super soft cotton muslins can be used for everything from wiping a little one's face to a cosy comforter. The cloud and star design by My 1st Years can even be personalised with a baby’s name for free.

Practical Magic

Committed to designing products that make life easier for parents, the Hippychick Shell does just that. Waterproof and windproof, the all-in-one is perfect for keeping babies warm and dry and it comes in lots of colours to keep your little one looking fab in the sunshine – no wonder Prince George looked so happy in his!

The modern vintage style of Cath Kidston is another royal favourite, and their wipe-clean nappy bags in funky designs are a huge hit with parents for their practicality and style – after all, babies require a lot of baggage so you might as well carry it all in a cheerful bag!

Baby Boutique

British high-street stalwart John Lewis' much-loved Lewis bear, sports an eye-catching patriotic blue and white jumper emblazoned with the Union Jack and makes a lovely gift for expectant parents. Stores UK wide.

Focusing on ethical craftsmanship and fine organic materials, charming London label Aravore is an excellent place to buys gifts for little ones, like the hand-crochet baby booties made from 100% organic merino wool.

A British brand with a French twist, JoJo Maman Bebe has grown to have stores all over the UK. They sell everything to kit out the nursery, from cribs and moses baskets to night-lights and furniture. Add a lovely finishing touch by fixing Wall Stickers around the little-one’s room.

Meghan & Harry’s Royal Babymoon Inspiration: Why London is the Perfect Pre-baby Holiday Destination

As everyone awaits news of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new baby, the world is closely following how they spend the precious days before the birth. After a recent relaxing mini-break, the royal couple have successfully made ‘babymoons’ a new tradition; we explore what makes London the ultimate pre-baby getaway.

Non-alcoholic bars

Dealing exclusively in ultra-healthy food and alcohol-free drinks, Redemption Bar offers an alternative to London’s predominantly boozy social scene. Found in Shoreditch, Covent Garden and Notting Hill, highlights from the cocktail menu include the wonderfully tropical pious pina colada and the moreish Seedlip apple mojito.

Designed with eccentric British flare, Mark’s Bar lies hidden under HIX Soho, offering a selection of luxury alcohol-free cocktails, including a Shirley temple, Espresso Martino and their fresh Lime Rickey.

London’s original speakeasy, Nightjar offer three amazing ‘mocktails’, including a fantastic Seedgroni Sbagliato. Based in Shoreditch, this romantically lit bar promises ‘a slice of old school glamour’, with live jazz and an elegant menu of sharing plates and tapas.

Pregnant Yoga

Offering pregnant yoga for all levels, Triyoga helps ease pain, boost circulation and prepare the mind and body of the mother-to-be. Available in 5 studios across London, classes encourage a nurturing environment. A 1-class drop-in costs £17 but 5, 10 and 20 class passes are also available.

With a focus on mindfulness, gentle flexibility and strengthening the bond between mother and baby, Frame’s ‘Mumhood Pre-Natal Yoga’ offer low-impact pregnancy yoga classes in 6 locations across London, available as pay-as-you-go for £15 a class.

Spa treatments for pregnant ladies

The Connaught Hotel offers two ‘body nurturing’ treatments designed for pregnant clients, the nurture which last 90 minutes and uplift that lasts 45 minutes. Tailored to help with pregnancy-specific issues such as foot, back and leg pain, these treatments offer a relaxing boost. The Connaught also offers facials, manicures, pedicures and hair removal for when DIY becomes impossible. The Uplift treatment costs £120 and the longer Nurture treatment costs £190.

For a treatment that focuses on a full body exfoliation, using polish and a clay mask to benefit stretch marks, the Refine and Comfort Wrap from the Mandarin Oriental in London is the height of prenatal luxury. It also includes a facial and scalp massage and costs £195.

The Berkeley Mother-to-be-Treat package is a full day of ultimate spa bliss. Performed by a specially trained pregnancy masseur, the 55-minute massage is followed by a facial, manicure, pedicure and finished with a 2-course lunch and healthy fruit smoothie. Open to all expectant mothers in their second and third trimester, this experience costs £335.

Bump-Friendly Activities

Everyman cinemas offer a luxury experience, with large, inviting sofas and table service for drinks. There are various sites across London but the Kings Cross and Canary Wharf cinemas boast the highest comfort levels. Ticket prices vary depending on the location, with a premier adult ticket for Kings Cross priced at £17.80 and £18.25 at Canary Wharf.

The View from the Shard at London Bridge offers a viewing deck with some of the best views in London, available with minimal stair climbing. Home to London’s highest bar, it serves a range of alcohol-free cocktails, as well as ice cream and pastries. A standard ticket on the day is £32.

London Thames River Lunch Cruise offers a pregnancy-friendly way to explore London, see the sights of the capital and enjoy a 3-course lunch, from £39 pp. This leisurely 90-minute Thames cruise serve a 3-course meal whilst passing landmarks such as, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern.

The best night’s sleep in London

With strong royal connections since the Victorian era, the Royal Suite at Claridge’s has a bed fit for a Queen. Known for being one of the grandest and most spacious rooms in London, mums-to-be will get a full night of precious sleep, feeling like royalty.

Home to one of the most famous beds in London, the luxurious and richly decorated Portobello Hotel’s Room 16 has an 8-foot circular bed and roll-top bath, ideal for relaxing and stretching out achy legs.

For a silent night of guaranteed uninterrupted slumber and a sleep-inducing aromatherapy kit, Crowne Plaza offer a ‘Sleep Advantage’ programme where between 9pm and 10am any disturbance is out of the question. Rooms are available from £150 a night, with 30 hotels within 5 miles of London’s centre.

Discover Queen Victoria’s Britain

2019 marks 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, a monarch whose reign defined an era and who oversaw a period of unparalleled industrial, cultural, scientific, political and military change in Britain. On the throne for more than 63 years at a time of great invention and innovation, the anniversary is being marked with events across Britain, and especially at locations with close ties to the monarch. This year is therefore a great chance to discover Queen Victoria’s Britain…

Balmoral

To mark the 200th anniversary, the Ballroom Exhibition at Balmoral Castle includes objects and portraits that detail Queen Victoria’s time at Balmoral. As the only room in the Castle available for viewing – the others are the reigning Queen’s private quarters – visitors can see a number of Victorian items that provide a glimpse into what life was like during the period. The City of Leeds Pipe Band will also perform on the Saturday closest to the anniversary, with the lead piper being a descendant of Queen Victoria’s first piper Angus Mackay.

When? 1 April – 31 July (The grounds, gardens, exhibitions, gift shop and café are open daily from 10am to 5pm). 25 May (Pipe Band between 12pm and 2pm)

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre 

Find out about life as a contemporary of Queen Victoria as part of a tour showcasing the parallel lives of a generation who were born in 1819 at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre. The Queen Victoria and her contemporaries at 200 tour will focus on objects connected to both Victoria and Price Albert, alongside novelist George Eliot, art and social critic John Ruskin, pioneer war photographer Roger Fenton and painters Gustave Courbet and William Powell Frith, among others. It will raise questions over generational identity and will explore the many ways of living in Victorian Britain.

When? 30 April (from 2.30pm)

Cliveden House

Once enjoyed by Queen Victoria as a relaxing destination for afternoon tea, the Spring Cottage at Cliveden House is one of two experiences on offer to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth. Guests can tuck into an afternoon tea, including the famous Victoria sponge cake that was named after the Queen herself, and an array of finger sandwiches and savoury treats, all accompanied by an aromatic Cliveden blend tea. Or retrace the footsteps of royalty with a stay at the Spring Cottage on the Banks of the River Thames, accompanied by a 45-minute Champagne river cruise.

When? 24-26 May (Afternoon tea, must be booked in advance) 20 May – 30 September 2019 (Spring Cottage Escape, must be booked in advance)

Kensington Palace

Queen Victoria’s birthplace will celebrate her bicentenary by altering the state rooms at Kensington Palace to reflect what life was like for the young princess growing up, alongside an incredible exhibition of her life. Historic Royal Palaces are creating an evocative and family-friendly display using an array of remarkable objects that relate to Victoria’s early years, including a scrapbook of mementos created by her German Governess Baroness Lehzen, which goes on public display for the first time. The palace’s Pigott Gallery will house an exhibition that delves into her later life and the legacy left behind, providing a unique insight into the private woman behind the public monarch. Featuring rare clothing from Victoria’s private wardrobe and other items that have previously remained out of the public eye, both the exhibition and the new walking route around the state rooms will open on the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

When? From 24 May (Entry to the exhibitions is included with standard entry to the palace)

Osborne, Isle of Wight

Renowned as Queen Victoria’s seaside retreat, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight will mark the bicentenary with a new trail around the unique collection found within the house and its gardens. The gifts received and exchanged by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert form the focal point of a new display too, highlighting their eclectic tastes and interests. Browse the opulent state rooms, as well as the pair’s bedroom and the royal nursery, before heading into the walled garden or wandering along Queen Victoria’s private beach. English Heritage is hosting The Great Victorian Show at Osborne House, celebrating the many inventions from the era and featuring a display of horsemanship and other entertainment including a traditional Punch and Judy show. Victoria’s Island Trail also includes 14 locations across the Isle of Wight that were popular with Queen Victoria and the royal family.

When? 28-30 May (The Great Victorian Show), Daily opening (Osborne House is open from 10am, and stays open for longer from 1 April)

Buckingham Palace

Discover how a young Queen Victoria transformed Buckingham Palace into a stunning working residence as part of a special exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth. Queen Victoria’s Palace focuses on how the Queen, with the support of Prince Albert, reformed the palace into a symbol of the British monarchy and a family home for 9 children.

When? 20 July – 29 September

Victoria 200

Prince Harry is days away from his wedding and a new little prince was born just last month to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – 2018 has, so far, shone a spotlight on all things royal. And, as we look ahead into the next 12 months it looks set to continue, with 2019 the year we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of William and Harry’s great-great-great-great grandmother – Queen Victoria. The second-longest reigning monarch in British history, Queen Victoria’s legacy continues to thrive and there are some extraordinary sites to visit to mark this special anniversary.

 

If you’re in London…

A trip to Kensington Palace is a must. Princess Victoria was born here on 24 May 1819 and the palace was her childhood home (it’s also now the London residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle). Explore the dazzling exhibition Victoria Revealed that opened earlier this year and will run until January 2020. Packed with intimate accounts of her intriguing reign, visitors will gain insights into her and Prince Albert’s characters, and can admire personal objects such as letters and journals. Stars of the show include tiaras from the collection of the Dukes of Fife, descendants of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Louise, such as her Emerald and Diamond Parure (tiara, necklace, earrings and brooch), a gift commissioned by Prince Albert.

Just a short stroll from the palace is the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens – located directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall, an exquisitely ornate monument that commemorates the death of Prince Albert. Follow a visit with an afternoon at the nearby V&A Museum – named after Victoria & Albert – the world’s largest museum of decorative art and where you’ll discover photographs of Victoria in its collections.

If you’re visiting Buckingham Palace – Victoria was the first monarch to rule from here – you’ll spot the resplendent Queen Victoria Memorial right in front. Comprising the magnificent white marble monument of Victoria that was built to commemorate her death in 1901, it’s also home to the Memorial Gardens and the Dominion Gates (Canada Gate, Australia Gate and South and West Africa Gates).

Famous London landmarks such as Westminster Abbey and St James Palace also have strong links to Queen Victoria; the former, as she was crowned there in 1830 and the latter, because it was where she married Prince Albert (although the public cannot visit inside the palace).

 

If you’re in Windsor, Berkshire…
Just an hour from London is Windsor Castle, where Queen Victoria resided for part of each year. Marvel at the splendid State Apartments within the walls of this largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, where you’ll discover thousands of objects and art collected during Queen Victoria’s reign. And both Victoria and Albert’s tombs are at rest in the private grounds of Windsor, at Frogmore House, in the Royal Mausoleum. There are rumours afoot that Queen Victoria’s tomb will be reopened to the public, although this has yet to be confirmed.

 

If you’re on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England…

A favourite holiday destination for Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their large family of nine children, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight – a 20-minute ferry ride from Portsmouth, which itself is two hours by train from London – is a must-visit for any fan of Victoriana. It’s quite the palatial holiday home and visitors can walk among the opulent state rooms to admire the remarkable collections from the British Empire, which, by Victoria’s death in 1901, stretched across nearly a quarter of the globe. You may also recognise Osborne House from the recent film Victoria and Abdul, starring Dame Judi Dench – it was used as a film location.

But it’s not just the lives of Victoria and Albert you’ll gain an insight into at Osborne House, but also the childhoods of the royal couple’s children, particularly in the impressive Swiss Cottage in the grounds of the house. And, next year, to mark the 200-year anniversary of Victoria’s birth, Osborne House will be hosting a special exhibition about both Victoria and Albert.

 

If you’re in Scotland…

Balmoral Castle remains the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family today – and was very much a favourite of Victoria and Albert’s. It was Albert who first brought his vision to the beautiful gardens here and visitors are welcome to tour Balmoral, usually between the end of March and end of July. Be sure to visit the spectacular Castle Ballroom and its fine works of art and artefacts. And imagining you are a royal yourself is well within your grasp as you can book to stay at the estate’s cottages, available when the Royal Family are not in residence.

The Highlands of Scotland also played an integral role in Victoria’s life; scenes in Victoria & Abdul were therefore filmed here, including the breathtaking landscapes of Glen Affric and Glenfeshie in the Cairngorms National Park. Queen Victoria was also known to have visited Ardverikie Estate as well as the magical Blair Castle. The area even has a Victorian Heritage Trail you can follow, taking in steam railways, country estates and distilleries.

London’s V&A is also opening a new outpost of the museum on 15 September in the city of Dundee, 1.5 hours from Edinburgh. Ultra-modern and sleek in design, the museum launches with the spectacular Ocean Liners: Speed & Style exhibition, and will also showcase world-class touring exhibitions from the V&A, as well as the best of Scottish design.

48 hours in… A DIY Royal Tour

The British Royal family has captured the world’s imagination for centuries, and in more recent times, the likes of TV drama The Crown, and films such as The Queen and The King’s Speech, have endeared new generations to the royals.

With a third child on the way for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, plus the impending nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle, it’s set to be a seriously exciting royal summer. So why not plan your own royal tour of Britain?

 

TIME TO CHECK IN

In London’s affluent Belgravia neighbourhood, where Buckingham Palace is located, you will also find The Goring hotel, where the Duchess of Cambridge spent the night before her wedding to Prince William in 2011. The luxury hotel, built in 1910 by visionary Otto Goring, is said to be the last grand hotel of the Edwardian era with one of London’s largest private gardens. Goring also equipped the hotel with some alleged world firsts – en-suite bathrooms and central heating in every single room.

 

DAY ONE:

09:30 GET WEDDING-READY AT WINDSOR CASTLE

Catch a train from Paddington to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Get there in time to see the Changing of the Guard, which happens on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week. Save time and buy your Windsor Castle tickets in advance.

Home to the monarchy since William the Conqueror discovered it in the 11th century, today it remains Queen Elizabeth II’s weekend home.

On 19 May 2018, the castle will become the setting for the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; some 900 years after Henry I became the first royal to marry here. It will also play host to special events from 5 May to 3 June 2018, such as Saturday family art workshops, ‘The Wedding Bells of Windsor’, where children create everything from wedding tiaras to ceremonial swords to design their own royal wedding. You can also explore St George’s Chapel, the final resting place of ten monarchs including King Henry VIII alongside his third wife Jane Seymour.

 

11.30 LUNCH LIKE A BRIT

Grab a re-entry permit from the castle shops and head into town for a spot of lunch, or book afternoon tea at the Clarence Brasserie and Tea Room, a few minutes from Windsor Castle.

 

13:30 GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

Back in London, make a beeline for Buckingham Palace. For ten weeks in the summer and selected dates afterwards, the state rooms of Queen Elizabeth II's official residence are open to the public, so take advantage to see the striking Throne Room, the Grand Staircase, and paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and others.

 

15:30 OFF WITH YOUR HEAD

The next stop on your royal tour will delight your inner magpie as you head to the Tower of London to see the world-famous Crown Jewels, a collection of 23,578 gemstones still used in ceremonies today — and always under armed guard.

Not all that glitters is gold though; this infamous former prison has held many famous guests, such as Guy Fawkes, Princess Elizabeth (to-be Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn) and was the site of execution for three of King Henry VIII’s six wives.

 

20:00 DINE LIKE ROYALTY

After freshening up at your hotel, dine at celebrity favourite Beach Blanket Babylon where Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all said to have partied in a private room.

 

DAY TWO:

10:00 BE A-MAZED

Catch a train from Waterloo to Hampton Court Palace, one of King Henry VIII’s former palaces. It’s home to an exquisite recreation of his crown, and other attractions such as the world-famous maze commissioned by King William III in around 1700.

You can enjoy a themed tour, Tudor cookery display and, of course, the maze, as part of your Hampton Court Palace ticket. Be sure to refuel at one of the Palace’s three cafés before you head back into central London.

 

13:00 TOUR THE PALACES

Although not open to the public, St James’s Palace — King Henry VIII's former residence in Westminster - is still a working royal residence, hosting charity receptions and state visits. As such, you can’t explore inside, but the beautiful architecture can be admired from outside.

Next, head to Clarence House, attached to St James's Palace on The Mall, and the official residence of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Admire the architecture and gardens of this stunning townhouse, which opens to the public every August.

Kensington Palace is probably the most exciting to visit, as it remains home to so many royals. The official residence for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it was also Princess Margaret’s former home and the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria.

Explore the state rooms and get to know Princess Diana through her style in the acclaimed fashion exhibition, Diana: Her Fashion Story. Wander through the Palace Gardens and enjoy the fascinating Sunken Garden, a secluded oasis planted in 1908.

 

HOW TO GET HERE

  • Getting to Windsor Castle: Windsor and Eton Central station is approximately 30 minutes from London Paddington station, then it is a short taxi ride to the castle.
  • Getting to Hampton Court: Hampton Court train station is a ten-minute walk from the Palace and is served by London Waterloo, with stops at several London stations en route.

NB to editors: The Three Palaces Royal Pass includes admission to the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace, saving 5% to 10% off individual adult and child tickets, and allowing visitors to skip the queues at each attraction.

Royal Windsor

Beautiful, regal and full of history, Windsor is the perfect short break destination. Find out when to see the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle and the best of what Windsor has to offer in 48 hours.

Day 1 – Arrive in Windsor

Windsor Castle and Changing of the Guard
If visiting Windsor CastIe, it is a good idea to get there early to find the best spot to watch the Changing of the Guard. The royal ceremony usually takes place at 11:00am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but the schedule does change.

After the ceremony, go and explore Windsor Castle and all its ancient grandeur. It’s the Queen’s official home and the oldest inhabited castle in the world.

 

St George’s Chapel
Open to visitors Monday to Saturday and located within the walls of Windsor Castle, St George’s Chapel is a sight of uniquely English Gothic architecture. Considered one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in Britain, construction of the chapel began over 500 years ago under the reign of Edward IV. The chapel is the final resting place of 10 monarchs, including Henry VIII and Charles I.

Eton College
Eton has schooled some of the brightest and most famous minds, including both Prince Harry and Prince William, Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. Guided tours of Eton College are available from 2 pm – 4 pm every Friday between 4 May and 7 September.

 

Frogmore House
Frogmore House has been a favourite royal retreat since George III’s reign. Located in Home Park of Windsor Castle, it’s open to visitors for three days in the June and to pre-booked groups of 15 people or more throughout August. 

Please note, both Eton College and Frogmore House have limited viewing opportunities.

 

Food and drink
The town has plenty of eateries to suit all budgets. For a quintessential English experience, go to the Michelin-starred Coworth Park. Its elegant Drawing Room offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside and the drinks menu has more than 20 varieties of tea.

 

Day 2 – See Windsor’s wild side and its racecourse

Windsor Great Park
The historic parkland is a vast green space teeming with monuments, ancient forests, spectacular garden displays, rare wildlife and colourful flora.

 

The River Thames.

Stroll the riverside pathway and stop by coffee shops, bars and brasseries that line the waterfront. While riverside, see more of Windsor with a drink at hand on a riverboat that takes you to the private jetty of Windsor Racecourse.

 

Windsor Racecourse

Close to Windsor Castle, this is the ultimate racing destination. From the town centre, you can hop aboard a riverboat to the famous racecourse. Between April and October, the racecourse is packed with exciting events such as Monday Night Racing, the Best of British Festival, and Ladies Day. For everything you need to know about events and days at the Racecourse, see their website.

 

How to get there?

By train: Direct trains from London Paddington and Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Central Station take about 40 minutes. Trains to Windsor & Eton Riverside take an extra 10 minutes but both stations are a short walk to Windsor Castle.

By coach: Travel by coach from London Victoria with Greenline or National Express. Coach travel takes just over 1 hour.

 

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Royal Warrant Holders

Some British brands are revered for their quality – so much so that they’re officially recognised as Royal Warrant Holders. This means they supply their goods to the households of Her Majesty The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales. Below is a list of some of Britain’s best-loved brands that hold the prestigious accolade.

Maldon Crystal Salt Co
Producing the finest natural sea salt for well over 100 years, this company hand-harvests its distinct flaky textured salt from the flat marshes of Maldon, Essex. The town has lots to explore, from museums to boat trips on the Blackwater Estuary.

 

Laphroaig
A firm favourite among whisky connoisseurs, Laphroaig is a single malt whisky from Islay – the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Regarded as one of the most flavoursome Scotch whiskies in the land, it’s no surprise that it’s the Royals’ whisky of choice.

 

Corgi
This luxury brand has humble beginnings. It began making socks for local miners in the Welsh village of Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, in 1892 and now produces luxurious knitwear in wool, cotton and cashmere.

 

Weetabix
The best way to start your morning, this wholegrain breakfast is manufactured in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire. Weetabix has been a staple on British breakfast tables since the 1930s. Try them with some honey, sultanas or sliced banana and a sprinkle of sugar.

 

Burberry
Founded by Thomas Burberry, this fashion house headquartered in London, England, has been an iconic British brand since its opening in 1856. Known for its distinctive check, innovative fabrics and timeless trench coat, it continues to wow fashion shows and garner the respect of fashionistas. It’s no wonder the Royals choose Burberry.

 

Cadbury
Its sweet, creamy flavour, its famous purple wrapping, Cadbury is the eminent British confectionary known the world over. It began in 1824 when John Cadbury opened a grocery store selling cocoa and drinking chocolate in Birmingham, England. It now makes more than 30 type of chocolate bars.

 

Berry Bros & Rudd
Founded in 1698 in London, Berry Bros & Rudd is Britain’s oldest fine wine and spirit merchant. Its first royal customer was George III back in 1760. You’ll find a collection of over 1,300 wines and spirits, ranging from £10 to £10,000 a bottle.
 

Twinings
Since 1706, Twinings of London has been a purveyor and trader of tea. With over 200 teas from around the world to try, Twinings’ shop and museum in central London is a great place to stop by for a cuppa and shop for tea-based gifts.

 

Penhaligon’s
This luxury perfume house has been the perfumer to the Royals for nearly a century. With its incredible heritage and divine perfume range, picking up a Royal scent could be the perfect present to take home. Penhaligon's was founded by a Cornish barber who moved to London. The brand started its life on Jermyn Street in Westmintster but the stores are now located all over the UK.

 

Barbour
Famous for its classic wax cotton jackets, Barbour makes classic winter warmers that have served the Royals for decades. Created in a small coastal town at the mouth of the River Tynein, South Shields, Barbour has established itself as one of the country’s best labels for high-quality country wear and stylish casual wear. Its flagship store in London’s Covent Garden is just one of many places where you can pick up some Barbour goodies.

 

Shepherd Neame
Would you doubt the quality of an ale that holds a Royal Warrant? Shepherd Neame is Britain’s oldest brewery – steadily brewing since 1698 – and owns more than 300 pubs across London and South East England. The brewery is located in Faversham, Kent, and its tours are a popular way to try a few ales while learning about the brewery’s secrets and history.

 

Hunter
Strong and stylish, the brand is a British classic. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Hunter boots are made to defy the harshest weather conditions and trickiest landscapes, they’ve been a Royal favourite for quite some time. They’re not just for Royals, though… adventurers, campers and festival goers rely on Hunters to keep their feet dry on wet hills and muddy fields.

 

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Royal London

London is home to the finest royal tailors, the Queen’s favourite grocery store and the makers of Meghan Markle’s engagement ring. Explore our interactive map to discover more about the royal institutions and suppliers in this majestic city.

Kensington Palace Gardens

The tranquil gardens of Kensington Palace are a perfect escape from the bustle of the city. With ornamental flowers beds and graceful fountains, the formal gardens were commissioned by Queen Mary and transformed into the grand park it is today by Queen Caroline.
 

Goring Hotel

Located around the corner from Buckingham Place, this luxurious hotel is one of the Queen’s favourite venues for entertaining. Its Royal Suit has walls lined with silk, elegant antique furniture and takes up the hotel’s entire top floor. The Goring is definitely fit for a king or queen!

 

Westminster Abbey

This ancient religious building has more than 1000 years of royal tradition. It’s the official coronation church and you can admire the coronation chair in St George’s Chapel. The abbey was the setting for 17 royal weddings including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

 

St James’s Park

This stunning 57-acre royal park is located in the heart of Westminster and is home to The Mall and Horse Guards Parade. Enjoy spectacular views of the park from the Blue Bridge or marvel at monuments like the Queen Victoria Memorial and the Duke of York statue.

 

Dean Street Townhouse

This Georgian residence was built in 1732 and became home to several aristocratic families as well as King Charles II’s mistress Nell Gwynne. It’s now an upscale boutique hotel (part of the exclusive Soho House Group) and provides traditional British style and comfort to its guests. 

 

Cleave & Co

Situated just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, this prestigious jewellers made Meghan Markle’s enormous diamond engagement ring. Cleave & Co’s craftsmen also create decorations and medals for palace offices, heads of state and military institutions around the world.

 

Horse Guards Parade

The iconic Queen’s Life Guard and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment change takes place every day at 11am (10am on Sundays). Visitors are welcome to watch the ceremony and the crowds here are usually smaller than at Buckingham Palace, making it perfect for photos!

 

Fortnum & Mason

Known as the Queen’s grocer, this store sells the finest foods and luxury hampers for all occasions. The establishment boasts an impressive variety of restaurants offering a royal afternoon tea experience at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon and delectable desserts at the Parlour.

 

Lock & Co Hatters

Located on St James’s Street, Lock & Co Hatters is the oldest hat shop in the world. Known for its fine craftsmanship and innovative designs, this family-owned business has designed hats for Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

 

Buckingham Palace

The largest of the royal palaces, this has been the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837. The palace opens its gilt doors to the public every summer so you can enjoy its opulent state rooms.

 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society hosts it world-famous annual 5-day event in May. Horticulturalists from around the globe exhibit their innovative garden designs and compete for various garden awards. With exotic palms, inspirational gardens and floral delights, you’ll find some great ideas to take home.

 

The Crown Jewels, Tower of London

Guarded inside the Jewel House the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels is a dazzling collection of 23,578 gemstones. Still used in royal ceremonies today, the collection contains crowns and ceremonial regalia that date back to the 1600s.

 

Gieves & Hawkes

This luxury brand has provided the Royal Family with the finest garments since 1809. It holds 3 Royal Warrants and also has a long history of crafting uniforms for the Royal Navy and the British Army. Its flagship store is located in the home of bespoke tailoring, Saville Row.

 

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Explore Royal Britain

Britain just oozes with royalty with its roots dipped in rich history. Discover the UK’s castles, palaces, yachts and more. Explore our interactive map to discover royal attractions across Britain.

Royal things to do in Scotland

Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire

Balmoral Castle tells of Scottish history like no other, built in 1856 it served as the Queen’s countryside getaway in Aberdeenshire. This stately castle was also the setting for Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s honeymoon – romance is in the air!

 

Iona Abbey, Isle of Iona

This sacred site situated on the Isle of Iona traces all the way back to AD 563 and was a regular destination for Christian pilgrimages. Take the chance to soak in this spiritual haven first-hand.
 

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

It’s most famous resident monarch was Mary, Queen of Scots whose secretary and confident was assassinated on the premises. Visit the home of Scottish royal history and the Queen’s office residence in Scotland.

 

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh

With the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, you’ll wonder which British royal hasn’t graced its elegant deck. From Her Majesty The Queen and Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela and Rajiv Gandhi, notable figures have boarded this majestic vessel. All aboard the deck for stunning exhibitions!

 

Royal things to do in England

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Indulge your inner artist with one of the UK’s largest private art collection and follow the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Located in heart of the Peak District, you could roam the stunning greenery and lavish rooms at Chatsworth House for days.

 

Sandringham, Norfolk

Housing four generations of British monarchs Sandringham is the Queen’s countryside retreat! From coastal wetlands to beautiful woodlands, find out what makes it the perfect escape.

 

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Previously used as a medieval fortress, Warwick Castle has a long and varied history. Visit the well-preserved castle where Earl of Warwick enjoyed his leisure time in style.

 

The Althorp, Northampton

Once the home of the late Princess Diana, Althorp House is now her resting place. Roam around the tranquil cottages, beautiful woodland and farms surrounding the estate.

 

King’s College, Cambridge

Feel like royalty as you gaze up at the stunning architecture of Cambridge’s King’s College. Founded by Henry VI, pop in to see its chapel that took a whole century to complete.

 

Longdole Polo Club, Gloucester

Enter the depth of rural tranquillity in Gloucester and learn to play Polo with the best of them. Even Prince Charles, William and Harry made an appearance on the grounds.

 

Kensington Palace, London

Did you know that original Leonardo da Vinci drawings were found in the palace with no clues as to how they got there? Get the royal insight by visiting the London home of Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and Will and Kate.

 

Buckingham Palace, London

You can’t get much more royal than Buckingham Palace. With one of the best known balconies in the world, it’s where the Royal Family appear to the public after royal or national celebrations. Inside you’ll find stunning interiors and the finest art collection to marvel at.

 

Windsor Castle, Windsor

The largest inhabited castle in the world, this building is simply breathtaking. Soak up the history of the artefacts, staterooms and grounds of one of the Queen’s favourite palaces.

 

Highgrove House, Gloucestershire

For the finest greenery in all the land, Highgrove garden in Gloucestershire will supply you with more than just a spring walk. Indulge in your luxury tastes with the kind of fine living suitable for a prince and a duchess.

 

Osborne House, Isle of White

Queen Victoria spent her holidays on the Isle of White in the palatial Osborne House. Marvel at its ornate terrace gardens or take a dip in the sea at Osborne beach.

 

Wimbledon, London

The Royal Family have had their own box at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships since 1922. If tennis isn’t your thing, there’s a charming village, an 1140 acres common (with windmill) and classy boutiques to explore nearby.

 

Royal Pavilion, Brigthton

Inspired by lavish Indian, Chinese and Islamic architecture King George IV ordered its construction in 1787. From a royal residence and seaside getaway to a hospital for Indian soldiers – the enchanting Royal Pavilion stands tall to this day.

 

Royal things to do in Wales

Conwy Castle, Conwy

Did you know that Conwy Castle was part of Edward I’s plan to build an ‘iron ring of castles’ around Wales? Its grandiosity is not to be underrated. Venture to the battlements and immerse yourself in the conquest.

 

Anglesey

Pursue some romance on the captivating north coast of Wales where Kate and Prince William found their perfect hideaway residence. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Anglesey is the perfect place to fall in love.

 

Caerphilly Castle

Wales’ largest castle is a revolutionary masterpiece in its strategic military defence. It’s one of the first castles in Britain to have a concentric design (it has a surrounding wall) and has a rich and thrilling medieval history.

 

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