By Joanna Gaspar
Prince William and Catherine Middleton are planning to wed on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey, offering perhaps the most significant event in London since Prince Charles and Lady Diana wed in 1981. Some 750 million people tuned in from around the world when William’s parents married, but with the Internet now at play, billions are likely to witness the marriage of William to Catherine.
London will be overflowing with visitors and well wishers when the young couple commit themselves to each other, which means that finding a place to view the royal wedding and related festivities will take some work. We sought an insider’s help in finding places to watch the royal nuptials take place and our guest writer has come up with 10 places around the city and beyond where you might catch a glimpse of the happy, young couple.
1. Central London
Even if you haven’t got an invite to the actual ceremony, you can still be part of William and Kate’s big day by joining the crowds in the streets along the route between Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. Large screens are also likely to be set up in the Mall and Hyde Park. The route is likely to be packed, with people sleeping out overnight to secure the best spots.
2. St Andrews
This is the Scottish university town in northeast Fife where the couple first met, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and guest houses in the town where you can both watch the wedding on TV and have a nice holiday at the same time. It is also a town full of history with plenty to see and do once the wedding is over.
Windsor, to the west of London, has strong links to the Royal Family due to Windsor castle. This is also where Prince Charles married Camilla and Prince Edward married Sophie. It’s a popular place with tourists so get there early.
4. Clapham Common
Clapham Common in South London is set to become home to Camp Royale over the wedding weekend, where campers can watch the ceremony on giant screens surrounded by red white and blue bunting and plenty of Union Jack flags. There are even free cups of tea on offer every morning and as rates are for three nights, you can make the most of the Bank Holidays.
Kate and William have been living in a remote area of Anglesey in North Wales since William took up his position as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. Pubs in the local area will all be showing the wedding, so combine your viewing with a pint and a pub lunch.
6. Stanton Dingley, Berkshire
Stanton Dingley is close to Kate’s parents’ home in a rural area of West Berkshire, and the local pub called the Boot Inn has many connections with the family.
Edinburgh is also proud of its royal connections, and will host William’s cousin Zara Philips’ wedding at the end of July. There are dozens of places up and down the historic Royal Mile which will be showing the ceremony.
Tetbury in Gloucestershire is near to Prince Charles’ country home at Highgrove, where William spent much of his childhood. This attractive small town is full of pretty buildings and pubs to watch the wedding.
Marlborough in Wiltshire is where Kate Middleton went to school. It’s an interesting market town, with plenty of shops to browse around if you get bored with the pomp and circumstance.
William spent time at Bovington Camp in Dorset while he was in the Army and learning to drive a tank. If the wedding is on a nice day, you can combine your trip to see the wedding with an afternoon at the beach.
Joanna Gaspar is a marketing executive working for “Salvaged Parts” which focuses on selling car parts online in the UK.