Royalty is completely different from celebrity. Royalty has a magic all its own.
A mythical friend of mine has asked for guidance regarding the imminent wedding taking place in London this weekend. Here, as always, to help, I offer this advice.
You’ll be in London on Saturday. You have purchased the requisite gown (for you) and the morning coat (for your appointed consort). Your taste buds yearn for the Amalfi lemon and English elderflower cake chosen especially by Meghan (the “Merkle” part of her name will disappear into the royal sunset). You’ve practiced the protocol when greeting Harry and Meghan. You are ready, my friend! Now you are just waiting for the official invitation to the ceremony and reception.
Have a seat. Take a deep breath. I’m going to be blunt. If you haven’t received the official invitation by now … (how to put this??) … you ain’t going. If it’s any consolation, here’s a recipe for lemon elderflower cake:
Invite your friends for a cake and a cuppa. Before that, though, you might head out to watch the procession in person. Too miffed about the non-invite to face the horses, the carriages, the limos, the colors, the pomp, and the circumstance in person? Then there are a raft of venues with screenings of the events as they happen. That might be a better choice for one such as yourself.
Tonight Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle attended a reception to celebrate female empowerment, which is being hosted by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. This event marks the launch of ‘Platform for Girls Education’, a campaign designed to encourage all Commonwealth countries to commit to providing 12 years of quality education for all girls. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle met guests from organisations who are supporting the aim to provide quality education to girls across the Commonwealth. #CHOGM2018 📸PA
Here to help, I’ll run down the best live viewing spots and a selection of Royal Wedding screenings. You think about it, OK? The screenings usually provide access to alcoholic refreshments – just sayin’.
At 1 p.m., Prince Harry and Meghan (not quite used to that moniker, yet) will leave St. George’s Chapel for a carriage-ride around Windsor before returning to the castle for the reception to which you are not invited. Sorry, I’ll try to not mention that again. Here’s the route:
All eyes will be glued to the personages involved, but lend an eye to the sumptuous tack of the hundred of horses involved.
Anywhere along the route will provide glimpses or even longish lingering looks at the majesty. You won’t be alone. Thousands (tens of thousands, I suppose) of royal watchers will be there some, like you, still piqued about the invite that wasn’t. Damn, there I go again. Forgive me. You will want to arrive at the scene early to secure a spot from which you can see the procession clearly and turn around to take selfies proving that you were there. I’m talking crack of the proverbial dawn here. As I mentioned, you won’t be alone.
At Albert Road, the royal gang will make a hairpin turn heading back to Windsor Castle from whence they came. Turning on to the aptly-named Long Walk, a beautiful stretch of tree-lined road that many say is THE place to be on that very special Saturday morning. Of course, it will be crowded, but it is, eponymously, a LONG walk. You who have been up since the c. of d. will find a spot for yourself, your consort, friends and selfie stick. After all, in your gown and morning suit, you’ll be the best dressed couple not in the procession itself. By the way, live screenings along the Long Walk will capture the action from angles of which you could only dream.
Some will choose to watch the action from atop Snow Hill where, purportedly, Henry VIII awaited news of the execution of Anne Boleyn. You might want to drop that factoid among your fellow watchers, but perhaps don’t dwell on it.
If you don’t want to fight the crowds, if you are fine with NOT seeing the event in propria persona (as your barrister friends might phrase it) there are a number of appealing alternatives. Here’s a quick tour of eleven of them. Of course our smarty friend Mr. Google can further elucidate details of each. Ask him. He’s so accommodating.
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Free! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the museum is well worth a visit at any time, but especially on this propitious occasion. Picnics are encouraged, but food and drink are available near the giant screen on the lawns. Shall we not mention eventualities in case of rain? OK, we won’t.
Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
Free! Offering a self-led Royal mystery trail, food and drinks will be on offer. You’ll have to try the “Minty Markle.” Outdoor screen, again, and a best hat competition. Start designing.
Fortnum & Mason, Westminster
￡85. Champagne to greet you, full afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, scones, all presented in the diamond Jubilee Tea Room. So very English! Oh, and a take-away Wedding Breakfast tea.
One Marylebone Church, Westminster
￡25 Champagne-sipping, bouquet-making, Bloody Mary instructions, and “an after party with a difference.” All this against the backdrop of one of London’s most architecturally renowned churches.
Skylight Rooftop, Wapping
Free! British lawn games (does it get any better!?), Greek street food, picnic on the grass, sit under the pergola, or belly up to the lounge bar. Cocktails, spritzes, bubbly, and “Royal Wedding Specials.” You were looking or an excuse to visit Wapping, weren’t you?
The Gun, Canary Wharf
Free! The first event at this redeveloped venue. You’ll be a part of history! Enjoy the big screen showing while watching the Thames action. Prosecco? G&T? Pimm’s? You got it!
￡ 25 (incl. “A glass of fizz”) Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge loves this place. There will be bunting! A DJ. BBQ throughout the day. I don’t suppose Kate will be there, but you can be.
Covent Garden Hotel, Westminster
￡27 (incl. afternoon tea) In the Brasserie Max, look for scones, berry tartlets, finger sandwiches, Banoffee pie, Champagne. Livin’ la vida loca.
The Book Club, Shoreditch
￡ 5 Pimms, live music, drag queens. We are talking East London STYLE! Pop-Ups, British party games, wedding bingo, big screens, of course, in case you still have interest in the wedding amidst all this.
South Place Hotel, City of London
Free! The 3Bar at the hotel will host the screening. Back to your bete noire, the bar will feature a drink called “The Invitation!” Drown those sorrows and munch on (I’m not making this up) lemon and elderflower cake. YES!
Hyatt Regency London, the Churchill, West End
￡55 – 85 (bottomless brunch) a selection of food in the Montagu Restaurant,
Seafood, salads, charcuterie, cheeses, followed by mains, fruits, and desserts. You’re getting hungry, aren’t you?
Thanks to the Mayor of London and London & Partners for these recommendations.
Is that enough choice for you? Set to go? YOU are invited!!
To the Royal Couple – CHEERS!