There’s nothing quite like a Royal Wedding. The fabulous gowns, impressive guest lists, profuse wedding gifts, and extraordinary settings – these regal occasions are the epitome of opulence, grandeur, and glamour.
We could say that the British Royal Family know how to throw a lavish wedding better than anybody. With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day approaching, Royal fever has taken hold of the UK once again.
So, we thought it was the perfect time to look back over some of the most incredible places the beloved British Royals have tied the knot.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The elaborate celebration of Princess Diana and Prince Charles was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29th, 1981. It was quite an anomaly at the time, with most Royal’s marrying at the Royal Church at Westminster Abbey. In fact, up to that point, no wedding had been held at St Paul’s Cathedral in 480 years.
But the union of Diana and Charles had to be somewhat of a spectacle, and with 3,500 seats, St Paul’s Cathedral, as the UK’s second biggest church, really was fit for a prince. The image of the beautiful Diana walking up the aisle with her incredible dress flowing along the red carpet is remembered as one of the UK’s most iconic moments.
We could call Westminster Abbey the most famous of all British Royal Wedding locations. The Queen and Prince Philip and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson all tied the knot here. Most recently, Prince William and Kate became the 16th royal couple to marry at this exquisite location.
The go-to venue has a capacity of 2000, but was chosen by the royal duo for its ‘staggering beauty, its 1,000 years of royal history and its relative intimacy despite its size’. Princess Diana’s, or William’s late mother’s, funeral was held at the Abbey – giving the location a poignant connection to the prince himself.
The Gothic abbey is situated opposite the Houses of Parliament in the heart of the capital and is famed for its beautiful, ornate stained-glass windows and Waterford crystal chandeliers.
Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace
With Buckingham and Kensington Palace both nearby, St James’s Palace is easily overshadowed. But this intimate venue is the most senior royal palace in the UK and a notable location for key events in London’s history – including the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Kings and Queens lived at St James’s Palace for over 300 years, with some members of the Royal Family still residing there today. This bijou wedding venue seats just 40 people and was decorated by acclaimed German artist Hans Holbein, with flagstone floors and wood-paneled floors. Despite its beauty, St James’s hasn’t hosted a royal wedding since 1935.
A day of London’s romantic royal venues
Start your day at St Paul’s Cathedral with its iconic dome. Admire the awe-inspiring interiors and spectacular views across London, before walking 40 minutes or hopping on a 25-minute tube ride to the regal duo of St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace. After plenty of photos outside the illustrious royal residency, take a 15-minute stroll to the king of royal wedding venues, Westminster Abbey. From here you can enjoy the rest of your day visiting some of London’s top attractions – the famous Big Ben and houses of parliament.
St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle
We couldn’t write a blog about royal wedding locations without mentioning the upcoming venue that Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle will pledge their troth later this year. This small royal chapel holds a wealth of significance to the British royals. Prince Harry himself was christened here, and his father, Prince Charles, married Camilla Parker Bowles at St George’s back in 2005.
Though a fairly small venue compared to the likes of Westminster and St Paul’s, it still holds an impressive 800 people. The gothic chapel is located inside the grand Windsor Castle – the world’s largest and oldest lived-in castle – which took 50 years to build.
The beautiful fortress and royal chapel have been home to the British Royal Family for over 100 years and are both well worth a visit. Check out our Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath tour, where you can explore with an informative audio guide of the castles rich history.