It's not too early to start planning for the memorable event.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday, saying in a statement they will officially be married next spring. While it might seem like that’s ages away, it’s not too soon to start planning a trip to catch the royal wedding in person.
The couple has yet to announce the exact date and location of the ceremony, but past royal traditions point to a London wedding in the springtime, giving you plenty of time to explore travel plans before prices start to hike up.
There are a few different venues the royal family has regularly hosted noted events and weddings in, all of which, except for Windsor Castle, are located in London. If Harry and Meghan follow in the footsteps of Prince William and Kate Middleton, they’ll be getting married at Westminster Abbey, where Harry’s grandmother, the Queen, and great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, also got married.
Other options include St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry was christened in 1984, St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married, and the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, where Prince George had his christening.
We’ve put together a guideline of how to plan a trip for the big day, from flight prices we’re currently seeing to London to some of the top hotels you can stay at near the expect venues where the wedding will take place.
Flights to the U.K.
While the price of tickets will vary depending on the exact date of travel, flights are already available to both London and Windsor. Flights in the spring months of March, April, and May currently range in price, but some of the lowest deals start at just $33 one-way to $43 one-way for those traveling from Europe to London's Gatwick Airport with Norwegian Air, and as low as $99 one-way for those traveling to from the U.S. to London's Gatwick Airport with WOW Air.
The Gatwick Airport is located just 29 miles from Windsor, meaning you can book your fly there, or to Heathrow Airport (seven miles from Winsor), since not as many airlines fly directly into Windsor. Flights to Heathrow from the U.S. currently start at around $150 for spring travel.
There are also direct flights to Windsor through airlines like Air Canada and Porter Airlines, with flights starting at around $144 one-way for trips from a variety of U.S. cities throughout March, April, and May.
Hotels to Catch a View of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Day
Securing a hotel that’s in close proximity to the venue means you can easily get some of the best views of the event.
Hotels like 41 (starting at about $592 per night) sit just opposite of Buckingham Palace, boasting views of the Royal Mews and grounds of the palace so that you could even watch from the comfort of your bedroom.
If you want to follow in royal traditions, though, you can also stay at the Goring Hotel (starting at about $494 per night), where Kate Middleton and her bridal part departed from on the day of the wedding. The hotel features just 69 suites and rooms and is also in close proximity to Buckingham Palace, but sits in the Belgravia area of London to offer guests privacy when they need it.
Properties like the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel (starting at about $266 per night) are nestled just beside St. Paul’s Cathedral, with glass interiors that offer a chic ambiance throughout. If you’re looking for a more low-key option, try the Mad Hatter Hotel (starting at about $172 per night), which has its very own pub with traditional British fare you can enjoy downstairs.
Meanwhile, the Dukes Hotel (starting at about $465 per night) is located within the heart of St. James’s Mayfair, giving you plenty to enjoy both before and after the wedding itself. The plus side is this hotel is also located just five minutes from Buckingham Palace, meaning you’ve got easy to both locations.
Finally, in Windsor, opt for the Sir Christophe Wren Hotel and Spa (starting at about $172 per night), just minutes by foot to the chapel. The hotel sits by the river to offer a tranquil retreat, and is made up of various buildings that dot the cobbled streets near Eton Bridge.
What to Expect on the Day of the Royal Wedding
A look back at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ceremony gives a sense of what road closures and public involvement can look like on the day of the wedding.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in 2011, roads both in and around the route the procession followed began closing to traffic at 6 a.m. throughout the afternoon. The route ran from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where thousands of spectators gathered to watch. The couple could be seen traveling by carriage to the ceremony, later returning to Buckingham Palace and stepping out onto the balcony in front of the crowds, where they shared a kiss.
Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey tended to be the most crowded areas along the route, while officials recommended taking the city's underground train network due to closed roads. Some bike docking were also closed for the occasion. If you are planning to take a train, get there early or buy your ticket in advance, as they can get crowded with long lines for the event.
Areas like Trafalgar Square will likely be filled with people waving crowds while street sellers hand out souvenir programs, flags, and commemorative items.
There’s always royal wedding souvenirs you can get your hands on both online and in person at palace locations throughout the city, like the wedding china William and Kate had showcasing their initials and wedding date.