What to do in London During the Royal Wedding Weekend
By Alexis Brett
The Royal Wedding weekend is less than a week away and the streets of London are already buzzing with excitement. Construction zones are scattered throughout London’s downtown core,and all the stores are displaying Will and Kate memorabilia for the thousands of tourists who are expected to flood to London at the end of the month.
The wedding is already being coined as “the event of the decade,” and it is being predicted that overhalf a million people will be taking over the streets surrounding Westminster Abbey, where the official wedding ceremony will take place on Friday, April 29th.
If you’re planning on visiting London during the Royal Wedding weekendthere will be tons of different events to choose from that are bound to help you get into the Royal Wedding spirit (whether you like it or not).
The Royal Wedding ceremony and carriage route Friday, April 29th
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If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of “Wills and Kates” in the flesh on the day of the ceremony, your best bet would be to get up at the crack of dawn and make your way to the official Royal Wedding carriage route. You can view the interactive map at www.royalparks.gov.uk or see below. But before you do, be sure to purchase an Oyster card so you can take advantage of London’s underground transit system during the day of the wedding.
Your best chance of getting a good view of the carriage would be to head towards Westminster Abbey(Tube: Westminster or St. James’ Park) and Buckingham Palace (Tube: St. James’ Park or Hyde Park Corner), but seeing that good spots will probably be taken up as early as the break of dawn, try to check out some other prime spots like the steps under the Duke of York’s statue atthe Carlton House Terrace (Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross),or the Admiralty Arch (Tube: Charing Cross or Embankment).
The official ceremony is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. and will last for approximately one hour.At 12:15 p.m., both the newlyweds andthe Queen will be escorted via carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, where they will arrive at 12:30.
Then at 13:25, the entire royal family will make an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony, and at 13:30 a fly-past conducted by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will commence to wrap-up the official ceremony.
Royal Wedding screenings(Friday, April 29th)
If you’re lucky enough to get close to Westminster Abbey or anywhere along the Royal Wedding carriage route, you can also listen to a broadcasting of the service which will be relayed on audio speakers for the duration of the ceremony.
The Chelsea Physic Garden (66 Royal Hospital Road; Tube: Sloane Square) is also hosting a screening of the Royal Wedding, which is free to attend and will start at 9 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. For more information visit www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk or call 020 7352 5646.
There will also be a free screening at the Stratford East Picturehouse (Salway Road, Tube: Stratford) where you can view the royal nuptials on a big screen in the famous cinema. For more information visit www.picturehouses.co.uk ?or call 0871 902 5740.
Royal wedding events (Friday, April 29th)
If you’re lucky enough to be in London during the day of the Royal Wedding but you’re hoping to avoid all the busy streets surrounding Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the London Eye, you could also try checking out some of the events that are being held throughout other areas of London as well.
If you happen to be in London with your significant other, both of you should attend “Ball and Chain Day” which will be held at the London Dungeon, (28-34 Tooley Street; Tube: London Bridge). The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and costs £17.33 if you book online beforehand. The first 100 couples that visit the London Dungeon during the day of the wedding will also receive a miniature ball and chain. For more information visit this website or call 020 7403 7221.
If you’re hoping to listen to some tunes during the Royal Wedding weekend, be sure to go to George Tavern (373 Commercial Road; Tube: Shadwell or Whitechapel) for a performance by the Love to Love All Star Band with Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Feeling. Admission costs £10 and the event will start at 7 p.m.
Anti-wedding parties–Friday, April 29th
If you’re resisting to join in on the Royal Wedding festivities but you still want to take advantage of all the numerous events and parties that are being planned over the bank holiday weekend, be sure to check out the “Alternative Royal Wedding Reception” at Udderbelly (Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road; Tube: Waterloo).
Moustache Bar (58 Stoke Newington Road; Tube: Dalston Kingsland) will also be throwing another anti-wedding party, “Off With Their Head! Club Night” and will be playing a variety of music hosted by DJ MEBR. The party starts at 8 p.m. and costs £5. (For more information call 0750 7152047.
Free street parties
As the nightfall approaches the streets of London will come alive as approximately 200 street parties are
being held on the night of Friday, April 29th and well into the bank holiday weekend.
The Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery (28 Charlotte Street; Tube: Goodge Street) will be hosting a “Charlotte Cory: The Royal Wedding Street Party” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day between April 23rd and May 1st. There will be a Victorian bride cake, sherry cocktails, a life-sized bride and groom, donkey rides, and much more. For more information visit this website call 020 7255 2828.
The V&A Museum (Cromwell Road; Tube: South Kensington) will be holding a free Victorian-style street party from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on April 29th and will also be hosting numerous traditional games and activities as well. If you’re going to attend be sure to dress up in 1800s style clothing! For more information visit this website or call 020 7942 2000.
Chez Manny Restaurant (Battersea High Street; Tube: Clapham Junction) will be holding a South West London Street Festival starting at 10 a.m. on April 29th and will also include £10 to £20 French-style cuisine and entrees. (For more information visit www.chezmanny.com or call 020 7223 4040.
And last but certainly not least, if you’re hoping to avoid the hectic streets of London on the day of the wedding but you still want to get in the Royal Wedding spirit, be sure to check out the William and Kate Royal Wedding Walking Tour (17 Bruton Street; Tube: Green Park). The tour costs £15 and will start at noon from April 29th to May 1st. The tour lasts for two hours and a guide will walk you through the birthplace of Queen Elizabeth II, the Ritz Hotel, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and much more. For more information visit www.thecelebrityplanet.com or call 44 20 7193 8770.
Alexis Brettis a Canadian journalism graduate who works as a freelance writer and recently moved to the UK. You can read her travel tweets @RambleOnEh.
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