British royal wedding:embrace or escape?
The royal wedding. Love it or loathe it? Should you head to London to see it - or run in the opposite direction?
Lonely Planet's London office has been arguing over this very question ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged. Some simply can't wait for the big day, others are keen to avoid it at all costs (and make good use of the public holiday). We asked two of our London staff to explain their differing opinions.
FOR: Tom Hall, UK Travel Editor
The house believes London is the place to be on April 29.
Firstly, I’m confused as to where else you’d want to be. Are you seriously going to spend the day hiding away in a museum or halfway up a mountain, 'accidentally' catching glimpses of both the ceremony and other people’s delight?
Anti-monarchists will bemoan the fuss, the cost and grab the holiday available and flee. This is missing the point. Travel is about experiencing the unforgettable and there’s only one place to be for that on April 29. London will be the centre of the world, even more so than usual. And it will be at its best.
The royal wedding is a unique way of seeing the British capital. In case you haven’t noticed, central London is designed so people can gawp at royalty. The Mall forms a picture-perfect processional route from Westminster Abbey on special occasions and can only truly be appreciated lined with happy people from around the world. All over the city and the UK there’ll be street parties and a jovial mood. Strangers may even make eye contact on the tube.
So don’t be miserable. Grab a Union Jack umbrella and give it a twirl for the folks back home. In years to come you’ll be glad you did.
AGAINST: Heather Carswell, Senior Media & Communications Executive
What’s fascinating to me is not the future King of England’s nuptials but the fact that people are so excited by it.
Sharing in the happy celebrations of a friend or family member’s big day, quaffing champagne, amusing Best Man speeches and watching uncoordinated relatives do the Macarena are just some of the things that make weddings such fun. So a wedding that I am not invited to, for a couple I don’t know, holds zero interest to me.
I won’t be privy to Prince Harry’s hilarious speech nor will I witness the Duke of Edinburgh throwing shapes on the dance floor. Instead, watching the ceremony on TV or jostling for space amongst hundreds of thousands of well-wishers in central London is as close to this wedding as us ordinary folk can get.
I’m not alone in feeling lacklustre about the big day. In my friendship group, the hot topic of conversation since the date of the wedding was announced has been around how best to spend the extra public holiday that Brits have been given in honour of the big day.
Coming hot on the heels of the Easter Break makes it the perfect time to take a trip without using much precious annual leave. With billions of people across the globe glued to their TVs on the big day, my advice would be to get out of London and you will have a royally good time.
- Find out more about London's royal wedding.
We've heard what our London-based team think, but we want to know what you think? Will you be flying into, or out of London for the big day? Or will you watch on TV along with an estimated one billion plus people around the globe?
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