Where to Watch the Royal Wedding
Get out your fascinators -- the big day is nearly here. On May 19, Prince Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Here, we explain how you can take part in the excitement -- whether you're travelling to the UK or taking in the festivities from this side of the pond.
Can I go to Windsor to watch the festivities in person?
Good luck with that. Windsor -- located about an hour west of London by car or train -- is going to be crowded on May 19. The hotels are full and the best up-close viewing spots are reserved for the couple's wedding guests and the 2,640 lucky members of the public who've been invited to watch from the castle grounds. This number includes Peterborough, Ont. teenager Faith Dickinson, 15, who accepted a Diana Award from Princes William and Harry last year as recognition for her charity work. (Dickinson created Cuddles for Cancer, an organization that gives out handmade, personalized blankets to cancer patients, soldiers and others who could benefit from a warm gesture.)
Still determined to go? You'll have the best chance of seeing the royal couple after the ceremony, when the newlyweds will leave Windsor Castle by carriage and travel along High Street through the town of Windsor, before returning to the castle by the Long Walk. We also predict some great celebrity-sighting opportunities on the road to Frogmore House, where Prince Charles will host an evening bash for the couple's famous friends.
Where Can I Celebrate in Canada?
The wedding will be televised and livestreamed, with coverage of the guest arrivals starting a few hours before the 7 a.m. ET ceremony. Don’t want to watch alone? Take your pick of parties, both during and after the early-morning wedding. Countless community viewing parties have been posted on social networks and event sites Consider dressing for the occasion: when Montreal pub and tea house Burgundy Lion hosted a screening of Prince William and Kate's wedding back in 2011, many guests showed up in wedding hats or tiaras!
Hotels across Canada are getting in on the action, too. Every Fairmont property in the world (there are 19 in Canada) will be marking the wedding, whether through a stay package, a live screening or a special menu. You can find all three at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York, which stood in for The Plaza for Meghan's TV wedding on "Suits." Splurge on the Duke & Duchess for a Day package or check out the English Garden installation in the lobby on your way to the viewing party, which starts at 6 a.m. ET in the EPIC Lounge. In Halifax, head to the Delta Halifax for a big-screen viewing and royal breakfast buffet.
If you're not a morning person, don't fret -- that's what afternoon tea is for. There's a Great British Tea Party at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. At Toronto's King Edward Hotel, you can enjoy highlights from the wedding (plus slideshows of the couple and live music) during a royal-themed afternoon tea in the historic Sovereign Ballroom. (A portion of each bill goes to one of Meghan's favourite charities, World Vision.) Don't forget to sign the guest book; it'll be sent to Harry and Meghan afterwards!
Here's a few more options -- and if you don't an event near your home, call your local British pub to see if they're opening early.
Ontario: In Ottawa, join The High Tea Social at the Kanata Sports Club. In Toronto, settle into the cushy red seats of the Princess of Wales Theatre for a free screening (tickets required), or raise a glass at the Duke of Cornwall in Toronto, settle into the cushy red seats of the The or join the T By Daniel Royal Wedding Tea Party in Brampton. Watch the larger-than-life action at Toronto's The Fox Theatre or the Princess Cinemas in Waterloo.
Alberta: In Calgary, The Britster plays host to a stylish viewing party at the Royale. Starting at the civilised hour of 2:30 p.m., the Royal Wedding Viewing & High Tea includes a replay of the wedding highlights and a talk by the British Consulate General, Caroline Saunders. Or, watch and indulge in tea at Edmonton's Art of Cake.
British Columbia: The fun kicks off in Victoria at 3 a.m. at the Union Club in a Viewing Party hosted by a trio of monarchy-friendly groups. In Vancouver, you'll be sure to find lots of Brits and their mates at The Diner on West 10th.
Speaking of afterwards, when will they come to Canada?
Obviously, Harry and Meghan will honeymoon in Toronto, where they conducted their secret romance. Kidding! Their honeymoon destination is a secret, but one contender is a safari holiday in Botswana, where Harry and Meghan took their first trip, camping out in the wilderness.
Canada has been mentioned as a possible location for the couple's first official trip abroad, but we suspect the decision-makers may give that honour to another Commonwealth country. (Let's not be greedy; not only was Canada the first stop for Prince William and Kate after their 2011 wedding, it was also where Harry and Meghan first stepped out together at the Invictus Games.)
That said, anticipation is high that the newlyweds will visit the U.S. this summer in conjunction with a cross-country trek for Walking With The Wounded, one of Harry's charities. He and Meghan could make an appearance when the trek kicks off in Los Angeles (Meghan's hometown) on June 2 or wraps up in New York on Sept. 6. If they're coming all that way, chances are they'll come to Canada too -- we'll be hanging on to our wedding favours just in case!