In the midst of fever pitch speculation from the international press, royal wedding plans must come together quickly. The UK’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday but already they have a wedding venue sorted and are getting international pitches to be the hosts of their honeymoon and even their stag party.
On Tuesday, it was announced the couple has selected the medieval Windsor Castle for their May wedding. It has the historical distinction of being the longest-occupied castle in the entirety of European history and is the principal weekend retreat of Harry’s grandmother, Elizabeth II. She has been instrumental in the renovation of the castle in the last couple of decades and the transformation of it into a major tourist attraction.
Jason Knauf, the Communications Secretary for Prince Harry, said in a press briefing that “this wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom” and even revealed that the couple are brainstorming ways that the public can feel part of the celebrations.
Windsor Castle is already one of the world’s most visited castles, beating out Buckingham Palace by welcoming more than 1.3 million visitors and can surely expect a further tourism boost as the public flock to see a glimpse of next year’s most famous wedding venue for themselves. But they’re not the only ones hoping the couple’s popularity will rub off on them.
Australia’s tourism minister Steven Ciobio revealed earlier this week he has already written to Prince Harry offering to create the “ultimate Australian experience” for either their honeymoon or their pre-wedding celebrations, including itineraries designed by Tourism Australia.
For their honeymoon, the agency recommended luxury lodges on Kangaroo Island, Tasmania, the Northern Territory or the Great Barrier Reef’s Lizard Island. Should the couple decide to have their pre-wedding celebrations in the country, the minister recommended the adventure activities of Queensland’s Gold Coast.
While the couple’s honeymoon plans remain under wraps for now – which hasn’t stopped us speculating on it – the most likely option may be Botswana since the couple have already visited there at least twice and Prince Harry calls it his “second home”.