Roll on May for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding! But where might the prince and the new duchess feather their nest after the happy day? We offer up some options (and show how you can take a peek behind regal closed doors, too).
The 19 May 2018 ought to be in your diary already as the date when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will get married at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Maybe they’ll decide to keep things easy and simply stay at the castle after the ceremony and celebrations..?
Windsor is only an hour away by direct train from London, so it’s easy for trips to and from the capital, too.
The birthplace of Queen Victoria and formerly the royal residence of Queen Anne, King Georges I and II, Princess Diana, and now home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So maybe the happy couples will continue to co-habit at Kensington Palace.
Pay a visit yourself and get an insight into the British monarchy both past and present. With the Three Palace Royal Pass you can save over 10% on admission to Kensington Palace and other London royal properties.
Perhaps the most famous palace in the world and home to the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace is so well-located in central London, flanked by Green Park and St James’s Park, maybe Her Majesty could spare a little space for Meghan and Harry..?
You can have a peek inside when the State Apartments are open during the summer months. Marvel at the magnificent State Rooms used on official occasions by the Queen to entertain her guests and explore the beautiful ballroom and throne room before taking a wander into the gardens.
Combine your visit to Buckingham Palace with a Royal London Sightseeing tour, or why not also visit the adjoining Royal Mews, the working stables of the Royal Family, which are also included in the London Pass®.
The Tower of London
Royal palace, prison, zoo, home to the world-famous Crown Jewels and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Tower of London has seen it all throughout 1,000 years of history and would certainly make a quirky place to live.
Those iconic Beefeaters live within the Tower’s walls and can take you on a tour providing behind-the-scenes stories of this magnificent site.
Situated on the banks of the River Thames, it’s also fun to approach the Tower of London by water, as many of its residents and visitors in through history would’ve done. Kids go free with the City Cruises London Sightseeing Boat.
Hampton Court Palace
The largest and grandest of Tudor palaces in England, sitting beside the River Thames just outside of London, Hampton Court would make a most desirable residence for Harry and Meghan. Most famously known as the home of Henry VIII and his various wives, Hampton Court Palace is also home to vast and beautiful gardens and a legendary maze. Dare you enter? Just don’t lose your head!
In zone 6 of the London transport network, getting to Hampton Court Palace could not be easier with a Visitor Oyster Card or London Travelcard taking you there on one of the fast, frequent suburban train services from London Waterloo for an easy day trip from central London.
If Harry and Meghan are after a more modest but still centrally located place to live, they could try the Banqueting House, which is handily positioned on Whitehall in central London, just moments from both Trafalgar Square and Big Ben.
The house is a must-see for followers of the British Monarchy as well as fans of grandiose architectural styles, it was the last remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall. However, it does have a somewhat gruesome past as it was here in 1649 that Charles I became the only king in British to be publicly executed.
Maybe Harry and Meghan would rather get away from the city life. In which case Warwick Castle could be a good option. With more than 1,000 years of fascinating history, there’s still plenty going on here with the grand State Rooms and Hall, plus regular jousting tournaments and birds of prey displays for entertainment.
The fairytale-like castle is surrounded by acres of parkland landscaped by ‘England’s greatest gardener’, Capability Brown.
Venturing further west from London and into Wales, there are plenty of castles to choose from – with more castles per square metre than anywhere else in the world. The Welsh capital could be a good place to settle down, particularly with 2,000-year-old Cardiff Castle, which is known for its striking examples of neo-Gothic and medieval styles.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have already visited the castle – in January 2018 as part of their first official visit to Wales – so maybe they have fallen in love with it already…
Royal Pavilion Brighton
Or maybe the happy couple would prefer a seaside abode. The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is an iconic Indian-inspired royal seaside retreat that King George IV commissioned from John Nash, the famous architect of Buckingham Palace. It would make a quirky home with its domes and minarets, Chinese-inspired interiors and the dazzling 9-metre high chandelier in the Banqueting Room that were all included as a result of the lavish, extravagant lifestyle of the king.
With a main thoroughfare called the Royal Mile and a castle, a royal retreat and the Royal Yacht all based here, see why Edinburgh is high on the list of places to live for a royal couple. The imposing Edinburgh Castle would be a great spot, with fantastic views over the city and beyond. It was built on an extinct volcano and was where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Heading out of Edinburgh’s city centre, at the other end of the Royal Mile is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty the Queen, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which could be an option if Harry and Meghan don’t fancy living atop a volcano. However, the palace does stand amid more volcanic landscapes, with the peak of Arthur’s Seat just behind. You can get great views from the top of this easy climb – maybe Prince Harry could go here for morning jogs.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Finally, if Harry and Meghan just can’t choose where they want to settle down, they could opt for life afloat the seas on the Royal Yacht Britannia. The floating residence served the Royal Family for more than 40 years and clocked up no less than a million nautical miles on their tours around the world. Sir Winston Churchill, Boris Yeltsin, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela all stepped aboard through the years.
You can go aboard yourself on a visit to the yacht where it is moored in Edinburgh’s Leith docks and admire the State Drawing Room, the Queen’s Bedroom, the Sun Lounge and the Admiral’s cabin.
All of the royal Edinburgh icons are also available to visit with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket which also includes a hop-on hop-off bus tour and, valid for two days, offers fantastic value for money.
All well-served by Britain’s national rail network, sit back and relax as you travel around these top Royal sites with our international exclusive BritRail Passes, valid from 3 days to one month.
And if you prefer to combine various British history locations in one day with the expert tales and advice of knowledgeable tour guides, why not climb on board one of our many day trips from London.