This spring, wedding bells will toll for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple’s big day is slated for May 19, 2018. While only those invited to the wedding are welcome to attend, many British citizens and travel lovers will be watching the event on television. Travel to England in May, and not only can you watch the nuptials, but you can also tour England like you’re one of the royal family. From viewing art like Duchess Kate to touring Kensington Palace, there is plenty of royal activities to do on your England trip this spring.
Tour Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official residence as well as a functioning estate. On your England trip, be sure to take a tour of the palace. Inside, you’ll find the Portrait Gallery, which houses some of the Queen’s favorite European artwork. You’ll also find the Royal Ballroom, which is the largest of the State Rooms. The Royal Ballroom is gloriously decorated with plush red carpets, marble statues, and numerous golden trinkets.
Head down the golden, elegantly wrought Grand Staircase and take a walk in the garden. The Palace Garden showcases a rose garden, tennis court, and summer house, amongst other things. Buckingham Palace has as much beauty as it does history, so be sure to check it out on your England trip. You may even spot the Queen!
Watch the Changing of the Guard
Perhaps the most iconic thing to do on an England trip is to watch the changing of the guard. During this ceremony, travel junkies and locals alike can watch the New Guard exchange places with the Old Guard.
The ceremony takes place around 11 AM and typically lasts forty-five minutes. However, this ceremony doesn’t take place every day, so be sure to check the schedule before heading off. You won’t want to miss seeing this amazing spectacle on your England trip! For bonus fun, stay after the ceremony and attempt to make the stoic guards smile.
Visit Windsor Castle
With over 900 years of history within its walls, Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world. From the 1100s to the 1900s, English royals called Windsor Castle their home. Currently, the Queen spends most of her weekends there.
Inside Windsor Castle, travel lovers will discover stunning paintings in the State Apartments, miniature 1920s household objects in Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, antique furniture in the Semi-State Rooms, and rich, golden gilding in the Grand Reception Room. St. George’s Chapel is also worth a look on your visit to the Castle. The chapel boasts supreme Gothic architecture, tombs of monarchs, and stately monuments. Windsor Castle is the perfect place to uncover history and gaze at supreme art on your England trip.
Tour Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace began as a home for minor royals, but today it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Palace has been a favorite retreat among many royals, each of whom left lasting effects on its architecture and design.
Travel lovers are free to explore the King’s Gallery, which was started by King William and features a cultivated collection of classical art. Travelers are also welcome to walk the grounds of the Palace’s gardens, which feature brilliantly colored flowers, lush shrubs, and a sunken garden. From art to history to nature, Kensington Palace is the place to visit on your England trip. Plus, if you’re lucky, you may even spot Duchess Kate when you travel here.
Stroll through the National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in the 1800s with the aim of illustrating British culture through their collection of portraits. Today, the gallery is just as strong—or maybe even stronger—than ever. With the most extensive portrait collection in the world and Duchess Kate as a patron, the National Portrait Gallery stands as an important cultural and historical landmark.
Travel to the gallery, and you will discover portraits ranging from the classical to the contemporary. The gallery also features different exhibitions throughout the year. This spring, travel lovers can explore Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography and Michael Jackson: On the Wall, amongst many other exhibits and special art displays. You won’t want to miss visiting the National Portrait Gallery on your England trip.
View Coaches in the Royal Mews
The Royal Mews is located in Buckingham Palace and is the primary source for all of the royal family’s road-travel arrangements. Visitors are more than welcome to visit the Royal Mews and browse its vast collection of coaches and carriage horses. When visiting the Royal Mews, be sure to see the immense and ornate Gold State Coach.
This gold-gilded, four-ton coach has been used at nearly every coronation in English history. Travelers will also find the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which is made from aluminum, gold, and wood from over one hundred historic British sites. Want to see what it’s like to sit in one of these elegant coaches? You’re in luck! On your trip to the Royal Mews, you can sit in an exact replica of Queen Victoria’s favorite coach. Be sure to visit the Royal Mews on your England trip—you’ll feel like royalty if you do.
England is a gorgeous country steeped in culture and history. From ancient castles to coach museums, England offers travel lovers many opportunities to feel like royalty. We hope you have fun on your royal England trip!