London royal weddings have a long and proud history, and their historic venues are perfect additions to your next vacation.
With all the buzz about Prince Harry’s upcoming marriage with Meghan Markle, people immediately began asking where the royal wedding will take place. And while it’s going to be hard to wrangle an invite to the private royal chapel in Windsor where they later announced they’ll be wed, there are a few places in London where royal wedding ceremonies have taken place in the public eye.
The Traditional Home of London Royal Weddings: Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is perhaps the best known of venue for London royal weddings.
Royal weddings have been taking place at Westminster Abbey, the grand church opposite the Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament, for centuries.
For the past hundred years, it’s been the wedding venue of choice for many members of the royal family. Interestingly, before 1919’s Westminster Abbey marriage of Princess Patricia of Connaught, there was a 500-year gap back to the last royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. That wedding was of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia in 1382. Today, Westminster Abbey is a popular spot to visit during London vacations, and still holds services on Sunday.
The Biggest of London Royal Weddings: St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral did manage to upstage Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. They needed more room for their thousands of guests, and so the massive wedding, televised to the world, was held at the historic cathedral.
St. Paul’s, dedicated in 1697, is open for visitors, tours and worship services today. The striking interior is incredibly grand, definitely the right setting for a royal wedding.
Even if you don’t go inside, you won’t be able to miss its massive dome, one of the highest in the world. See it from the Millennium Bridge over the Thames for a wonderfully symmetric view, and don’t miss the view at night from the south side of the Thames, near Globe Theatre, for an incredible viewpoint of that amazing dome seemingly floating over nighttime London.
Private London Royal Weddings: St. James’s Place
Of course, many royal weddings are held behind closed doors. The Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace has a long history as a place for marking royal milestones: births, deaths and marriages.
The richly-appointed chapel was the site of Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840 and has been the venue for many royal weddings since.
While St. James’s Palace is a both a residence and seat of government and not open to the public, you can easily view the red-brick palace, built in the Tudor style, by turning up Marlborough Road while you’re walking up the Royal Mall to or from Buckingham Palace.
The upcoming royal wedding will not be held in London, but in nearby Windsor. However, you can be sure there will plenty of partying in London on the royal wedding date! If you’d like to be part of the spectacle, click here to learn more about visiting London during the royal wedding.