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A Royal Spring Wedding

by Monica Conrady

t is only fitting that Prince William and his fiancée, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, be married at London’s Westminster Abbey where the prince’s grandparents and great-grandparents were also married. England is all about tradition.

A Royal Couple getting married in a pub?
Good Heavens!

While the Abbey will provide a wonderful setting for the royal nuptials, there are many other unique, highly romantic places around the country where they could tie the knot. Here are a few alternative — somewhat tongue-in-cheek — suggestions:

A Greener Groom
A choice certain to please Prince Charles, father of the groom, is the Eden Project in Cornwall, which offers eco-friendly weddings with food sourced from local suppliers. Once a clay mine, the Eden Project is now a rich global garden boasting the world’s largest greenhouses. Happy couples can get married among the lush foliage of the Rainforest Biome (dome), or in the gallery overlooking the grounds; in the evening the Mediterranean Biome can be lit with low lights that create the illusion of thousands of stars across the ‘biome canopy.’

Bride On Board
As a serving RAF officer, Prince William could be married immersed in military heritage. Located in the heart of London, HMS Belfast on the River Thames, with stunning views of Tower Bridge and the London skyline, has plenty of space on the quarterdeck for speeches and dancing.

Brighton Bling
Nothing makes the monarchy look better than being reminded of the follies of their predecessors — and there are few grander follies than the Brighton Pavilion, built for the extravagant George IV. Weddings take place in the Red Drawing Room, while photos can be taken outside in the beautiful Regency Gardens.

Back to Basics
A Royal Couple getting married in a pub? Good heavens! But just in case they’d care to keep it simple, The Fleece Inn — a 15th century inn in the Cotswolds — is the perfect choice. The ceremony takes place in an atmospheric thatched barn, with the centuries-old joys of a traditional English pub for the reception.

A Holy Enjoyable Day
The joy of seeing the paparazzi wading around as the tide comes in would no doubt have added to the general air of bliss if the royal wedding were to take place at Holy Island in Northumberland. The fairytale castle of Lindisfarne, steeped in history and once owned by Sir Edward Lutyens, would make a dream backdrop for any ceremony.

In Vino Veritas
A celebratory glass or two is integral to a successful wedding — so what better place to hold the ceremony than at a vineyard? Denbies Vineyard, in the heart of the beautiful Surrey Hills, can arrange weddings surrounded by 265 acres of vines, with pre-reception drinks held in the atmospheric candlelit cellars.

A Coastal Celebration
Steeped in royal history, Pendennis Castle was built in the 1540s on the orders of Henry VIII, and has protected the Cornish coast from invasion for five centuries. The circular fort is a spectacular wedding location, set high on a headland with panoramic views across the sea and several different room options.

A Light Touch
Climbing a spiral staircase to a circular room with panoramic views out to sea is surely romantic enough for the royal couple. Dungeness Lighthouse in Kent is an unusual venue for a truly unique wedding, with space for thirty people at bridge level and just ten in the Gallery.

Green-Fingered Groom
What could be more perfect for an English wedding than a flower-filled garden — and gardens don’t come much more idyllic than the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship Wisley in Surrey. Wedding guests can enjoy a private tour of the garden and an evening reception in the Conservatory.

As for the honeymoon ...

VisitEngland: www.visitengland.com.

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The Eden Project
Cornwall Tourist Board