LONDON (Reuters) - Dust off your bunting! As if the pomp and circumstance of last year’s British royal wedding weren’t enough, London is gearing up for a whole new round of celebrations for this spring’s Diamond Jubilee.
From the sentimental to the sublime, the travellers and staff of online travel adviser trippy.com (www.trippy.com) have compiled a list of the 10 must-see attractions for fans of UK royalty. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Royal Ascot; Ascot Racecourse, outside London
While it may be one of English society’s most lauded events, tickets in the “Silver Ring” can be found in the 16-30 pounds range. For pricier sections, take note: the dress code here is serious. Top hats and morning suits for men, hats with a base of at least four inches for women, so make sure you’re prepared!
2. Margaret Tyler; South Kenton, London All hail the Queen!
Of royal memorabilia, that is. Margaret Tyler, considered the world’s most proficient collector of royal...well, stuff, has turned her home into a virtual shrine to the royal family. Whether it’s tea towels, mugs, or life-sized royal cut-outs, you can be sure Ms. Tyler has it.
3. The Household Cavalry Museum; Whitehall, London
While it sounds like the kind of place ripe for a dull school trip, in truth it’s anything but. Celebrating the active troops who also provide the queen’s ceremonial guard, this small museum is an exciting, colourful collection of exquisite uniforms of and exciting artefacts from the troops who were historically responsible for the sovereign’s safety.
4. 60 Coleherne Court; Earls Court, London
It was here that Lady Di as she was then known, spent her single girl days laughing it up with roommates and trying, with limited success, to avoid the press. In fact, it was from this very apartment that “Shy Di” spent what her assigned police officer referred to as her “last night of freedom”.
5. Mahiki; Mayfair, London
One of William and Kate’s favourite pre-marriage haunts, this tiki bar is still a favourite of local celebs. We can only imagine how much fun it must have been watching the future king and queen of England spin the bar’s famous Wheel of Fortune drink selector.
6. Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration; Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London
One of the Jubilee’s most anticipated events, this show chronicles the 30-year association between monarch and photographer. Beaton’s almost other-worldly Coronation portrait is among the exhibit’s finest and, given the circumstances, most intriguing.
7. Swan Upping; The River Thames
In this wonderfully quaint old tradition, the queen’s official Swan Marker (yes, that is a real title), and his team row up the Thames weighing and measuring all the queen’s swans. While the queen herself leaves the job to others, it’s worth checking out for the glorious royal regalia and the ceremonial toast to Her Majesty.
8. The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Ads: London
Located on a small side street in the Notting Hill section of town, this whimsical little museum is a tribute to packaging, memorabilia, and general English ephemera. Royal watchers may need to bring along a friend to talk them out of nicking any of the incredible royal souvenirs showcased here.
9. Ceremony of the Keys; Tower of London, London
For a literal “Hark! Who goes there?” moment, be sure to send away three months in advance for tickets to this centuries old (and free) performance. The official nightly locking of the tower, this is royal ritual at its best and most authentic.
10. Diana: A Celebration; travelling exhibit
If travel to England isn’t in your budget this year but you need a royal fix, this exhibit may be a solution. In Minneapolis at the time of this writing, the show features clothing, personal effects, and, amazingly, the wedding gown that still influences brides the world over.
Created by Paul Casciato