With the big news of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, last week’s 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip, and the upcoming birth of a new prince or princess, royal fever is heating up in the U.K. and across the globe. In fact, according to Visit London, following Will and Kate’s engagement and wedding in 2011, the destination saw a spike in tourists—800,000 more than the previous year—and the highest number of visits by Americans since 2008.
Luxury Gold’s British Royale
Travelers seeking to be swept away by the opulence and pageantry of Britain’s royal heritage will enjoy Luxury Gold Vacations’s new nine-day British Royale escorted journey, which takes guests from London to Edinburgh, stopping along the way in Bath, Windsor, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds, York, the Lake District and Northumberland. On the trip, guests stay in top hotels, indulge in exceptional dining, and travel in style.
Royal-themed highlights of the trip include witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, meeting a military knight at Windsor Castle, exploring Edinburgh Castle on a VIP tour, learning about the Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny with a local expert, and, on select Chairman’s Collection departures, taking a private tour of the gardens surrounding the 11th-century Alnwick Castle with the Duchess of Northumberland.
In London, guests will have the chance to witness the 700-year-old Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London after the crowds have gone home. Following, they will be treated to a Welcome Dinner at Red Carnation’s Milestone Hotel and Residences, where they will spend the night. Good to know: The hotel is opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens, the future home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the current residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
After London, travelers head to Bath to tour the original Roman Baths and Pump Room before dining at a Michelin-star restaurant. In York, guests enjoy VIP after-hours entry to Harlow Carr Gardens, a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, before taking part in a posh twilight picnic. And in Edinburgh, guests meet a professional bagpiper, who is said to have been the Queen Mother’s favorite, and listen to traditional music and fascinating tales about Scottish culture while enjoying tea and scones.
In celebration of the new 2018 Luxury Gold Escorted Journeys, guests can enjoy 10 percent savings with the early payment discount and $400 per person Business Class air credit.
Trafalgar’s London Explorer
Travelers can get the full royal treatment when they book Trafalgar’s London Explorer, an eight-day guided vacation through London, Windsor and Oxford, with visits to Buckingham Palace, home to the Queen of England; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate were married in 2011; and Kensington Palace, where the new royal couple will reside after the wedding.
Good to know: For those who have already found their Prince Harry or Megan Markle, they can continue the romance like royalty on the Delights of London and Paris vacation, visiting the same regal sights in London, as well as romantic Parisian icons like the Eiffel Tower and Tuleries gardens.
In celebration of the engagement, those who book by December 11 for summer 2018 departures on London Explorer and Delights of London and Paris can take advantage of a 10 percent early payment discount and also receive a complimentary royal afternoon tea for two at The Milestone. Both trips include all premium accommodations, multiple meals and on-trip transport.
The Balmoral’s Royal Experience
Recently, The Balmoral rolled out its Royal Experience, allowing guests to get special access to several of the Royal Family’s favorite hangouts (in addition to many spots where Netflix’s The Crown was filmed).
This over-the-top package includes insider access and helicopter transfers to The Queen’s summer getaway, the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire; Her Majesty’s Edinburgh residence, The Palace of Holyroodhouse; and The Queen’s Royal Yacht Britannia. Guests booking the package will get a private evening tour of the yacht, followed by canapés and a glass of Champagne in the State Drawing Room. The Royal Experience is available to guests reserving a three-plus-night stay in the Scone & Crombie Suite.