RISMEDIA, April 8, 2011—(MCT)—Forsooth, it shall be a royal pain traveling to the Wedding of the Century. But believe it or not, you can still do it. The vaunted royal nuptials of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton are April 29. More than 1 million visitors may throng London’s streets that day. Another 2 billion are expected to watch on TV.
But if, like Forrest Gump, you aim to brush elbows with history, here’s how.
Q: Can I still get an airline ticket?
A: Yes. Delta still has nonstop round-trip tickets from Detroit to London Heathrow available for the period. For instance, a ticket April 27-May 1 is $875. Not bad.
Q: Can I still get a hotel room in London?
A: Yes, not first-choice stuff but still doable. Here are three places to look last-minute:
—Visit London. One offer: Spend three nights in a three-star hotel near Paddington Station for $620 per couple
—Air Bnb (www.airbnb.com). One offer: Stay in a bedroom of someone’s flat on Royal Street, walking distance to Big Ben, for $145 per night.
—Camp Royale at Clapham Common. Get a three-day camping pass (about $110) at this giant 10,000-space campsite in south London. It was created just for the wedding.
Warning: Consult a map and make sure the accommodation is near a tube station. Otherwise you’ll be walking miles.
Q: Will I actually be able to see the royal carriage pass by?
A: The British press is predicting crowds 20 deep along the parade route, which goes from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. You may be able to at least get within binocular range. The couple will likely appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. You may even see — sigh, heart flutter — a royal kiss.
Q: Will I be able to walk around town easily?
A: Security checkpoints will likely be strict but passable.
Q: What if I get to London, can’t see a thing, and I’m missing all the good parts?
A: Decamp to a pub, and watch it all on the telly. One of my favorites is the historic Red Lion at Parliament Street and Derby Gate, but because it’s more or less along the parade route, it might be tough to get in.
Q: Can I tour Westminster Abbey after the couple leaves the church?
A: No, but the Abbey will reopen April 30 for visitors.
Q: What other sites can I tour that are related to the royal couple?
A: Put on your traveling shoes and go see:
—Bucklebury, Berkshire. Huh, where? It’s the village where Kate Middleton grew up. Local firm Morton’s Travel even offers a bus tour called Kate Middleton Country.
—St. Andrews, Scotland. The University of St. Andrews was their collegiate love nest; they graduated in 2005.
—Isle of Anglesey, Wales. Where the couple will live for two years while Wills finishes his stint in the Royal Air Force. Anglesey is in extreme northwest Wales, near Snowdonia National Park. It also has a famous village with the longest name in the UK — Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
—London highlights. Take the Royal Wedding Walk tour ($21) featuring the couple’s favorite spots and hangouts.
—St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. It’s where Prince Charles and Lady Di tied the knot in 1981 in one of the greatest wedding spectacles of the modern era.
OK, so the marriage was a total dud. There’s always hope for the next generation, right?
(c) 2011, Detroit Free Press.
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