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London: Royal wedding-themed vacations

By Sean O'Neill
October 3, 2012
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Courtesy <a href="http://www.aynsley.co.uk/" target="_blank">Aynsley</a>

So it's April 29th, and you're all invited: H.R.H. Prince William is making his marriage to Catherine Middleton into a "People's Royal Wedding." In the works are a parade, street parties, and a military fly-over. Soon, tickets will go on sale for a concert that weekend, starring Elton John and Susan Boyle.

A special national holiday (combined with a previously scheduled one on the following Monday) will create a four-day weekend for locals. Many Londoners plan to celebrate, dressing up in spiffy clothes and fancy hats.

There is political pressure on the Mayor to find budget money to put giant TVs in Hyde Park, which would broadcast the ceremonies. Local boroughs are certain to sponsor street parties, about 30 in every borough.

Book your travel now. Prices will only rise from here on out. One sample offer: British Airways is selling wedding-themed air-plus-hotel packages from $865, before taxes.

Can't make it April 29? Not to worry. Here's a guide to the top London attractions related to the royal wedding. Visit when you can.

Westminster Abbey

As you've heard, William and Kate chose this palace for the 15th royal wedding in its 1,000 years. £15 ($23), westminster-abbey.org.

The Royal Mews

See the Royal Carriage, the coach that the couple will most likely use on their wedding day. The queen's working horses are in the stable next door. £7.75 ($12), royalcollection.org.uk.

Garrard & Co.

Garrard claims to be the world's oldest jewelry shop. It's the source of Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which Prince William took out of his rucksack and presented to Kate during a getaway in Kenya. garrard.com.

Jigsaw

After graduating from college, fashion maven Kate worked in the Kew branch of British boutique chain Jigsaw. You can check out her taste at the London branch at 126-7 New Bond Street. The store is a minimalist marvel, designed by renowned architect John Pawson 15 years ago. The fashion is relatively affordable for London. If you're looking to buy one "splash out" dress for the weekend's festivities, this is one place to shop for ideas and accessories. jigsaw-online.com.

Club Mahiki

One of Prince William's favorite hangouts, this nightclub is likely to be part of his stag party. mahiki.com.

Clarence House

Prince William currently lives near his Royal Air Force base in Wales, but his father, Prince Charles, announced the engagement from their official home lives at Clarence House.* Glimpse this Tudor building by walking up the Mall from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch. Soldiers in sentry boxes guard out front. Book now for summer tours. royal.gov.uk.

*CORRECTED on Wed. Sorry for the error.

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