With series two of the The Crown arriving on our screens and the recently announced Royal engagement, we have serious monarchy madness here at Original Travel UK. Whilst we can't guarantee an invitation to the wedding of the year, there are many opportunities to explore the Palaces and the Royal's stomping grounds across the country. Maybe if you're lucky you may even get to spot them in real life...
Read on for a selection of our favourite royal tours:
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle have announced that they will be getting married at St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in May 2018. The reception is also rumoured to be taking place within the castle itself. Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in England and has been a Royal home and fortress for over 900 years. Whilst the Castle will be closed to the public for the wedding, you can visit the State apartments at all other times of the year to view some of the finest works of art in the entire Royal Collection. You can also visit the Chapel, to marvel at the Perpendicular architecture and picture the royal wedding party processing down the aisle. Make a day of it with one of our local driver-guides and enjoy exploring the South; we would suggest visiting the neighbouring town of Eton which is where the princes went to school.
For pomp and ceremony like no other, Trooping the Colour is the annual celebration of the Queen's birthday which will take place on June 9th 2018. Watch over 1000 soldiers parade down The Mall towards the Palace, in the heart of ceremonial London. The Queen inspects the guards before the RAF take part in a flyby, watched by all the Royals from Buckingham Palace's balcony. Ask us about the balloted tickets needed to be part of the Queen's special day. Or if you are visiting the capital at any other time of the year, the State Apartments can be visited during July - September with exclusive guided tours also occurring in December and Easter.
Kensington Palace is William & Kate's home and London haunt. Enjoy a private morning tour of the palace, a building filled with historic stories and secrets. Make your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings, tapestries and furniture. Palace explainers will provide you with information about the site, its evolution and its people, especially the generations of royal women who have influenced the workings of the palace. We love the 'Diana: Her Fashion Story' exhibition which traces the evolution of the famous princess's style. Make sure you leave time to explore the sunken gardens which were the site for Prince Harry's & Meghan's engagement photos and also host a memorial for Diana.
ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA
The Royal Yacht Britannia served Queen and country for 44 years and went on 968 official voyages during this time, from the Southern Seas to the depths of Antarctica. Prince Philip spent much time on the Yacht, including a world tour in 1956, after the boat was newly commissioned, which included a trip to the Antarctic Circle and Melbourne for the Olympic Games. This event, among others, is set to be shown in the latest series of the Crown which focuses on the era between 1950 - 1960. Enjoy a private tour of the yacht, which is now berthed in Edinburgh, explore the five main decks including the crew's quarters, engine rooms and royal bedrooms. VVIPs can hire the yacht exclusively for private dinners which can include a fireworks display from the decks and a piper to pipe you on and off the ship. Perfect for big celebrations with your nearest and dearest.
Since 1980 when The Prince of Wales first arrived at Highgrove, His Royal Highness has devoted much energy to transforming the estate around his private family home. For the last 25 years the gardens and surrounding land have been managed to the organic and sustainable principles that Prince Charles has for so long championed, creating a space that "works with nature, not against it". It is a beautiful place to visit, especially on one of their special Champagne tours; a two hour tour limited to 16 people with an expert guide, which is followed by afternoon tea including a glass of Highgrove champagne. Located near Tetbury, in the Cotswolds it is a perfect day trip for any green-fingered gardener's out there!