There's less than a month left till the April 29th wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, but if you haven't received your royal invitation, not to worry. Just get yourself across the pond and you'll have plenty of opportunity to indulge in all things Kate & Wills. In case you missed the November announcement of their engagement, Kate showed up wearing Diana's important oval blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring by royal jewelers Garrard. Her Issa blue dress matched the sapphire color, and the replica of her dress sold out within hours.
It took Wills so long to propose (eight years) that the tabloids called his fiancée-to-be, "Waity Katie." Finally he popped the question while on a Kenyan holiday. "It just felt really right out in Africa," Wills said. But even a Prince is not immune to rejection. "I wanted to ask Kate's dad first but then the realization that he might actually say no dawned upon me, so I thought if I ask Kate first then he can't really say no. So I did it that way round."
The wedding, which will take place in Westminster Abbey is being called "the wedding of the Century." The photographer, a great friend of Diana, is Mario Testino (who took their official engagement photos in December). The wedding party will undoubtedly include Harry as best man. Kate's sister Pippa Middleton (26) will most likely be chief bridesmaid, and her main duty will be to make sure the bridal gown is perfectly displayed at all times. William's 19-year-old cousin, Lady Kitty Spencer and Viscount Linley's eight year old daughter, Margarita Armstrong-Jones will help with that task.
Here are a few favorites of Kate & Wills where you can soak up some Royal ambiance, and hopefully even spot the lovebirds:
Bluebird: Prince William and Kate Middleton often dine at Bluebird in Chelsea, whose head chef Mark Block specializes in classic British fare and a range of specialty cocktails. (Sapphire Sling, anyone?)
Dans le Noir: Rumor has it that William and Kate dine here, not surprising because dinner is eaten in complete darkness and served by blind waiters, so the couple can maintain their anonymity.
Eighty Six: This Chelsea resto is one of Kate's favorite pubs, and said to be the location of her upcoming bachelorette party, which the Brits call, a 'hen party.'
Raffles Nightclub This exclusive members-only club located on Kensington's Kings Road is a favorite of the twosome's social circle, so they'll undoubtedly make the scene there in the upcoming weeks.
Boujis: Another Kensington favorite private club of whose signature champagne cocktail, Kate & wills are fans.
Mahiki: This A-list hotspot is a haunt of London's rich and famous and has a fabulous cocktail menu. (Are you beginning to wonder if all Kate & Wills do is imbibe?)
Turnbull & Asser: This bespoke gentlemen's tailor is said to be a favorite of Prince William. For his formal engagement photos, Prince William wore a Turnbull & Asser suit and shirt. He was also kitted out here for his engagement photos.
Jigsaw: Kate did a brief stint working as a junior fashion buyer at this high street clothing store, which has multiple locations in London.
Other stores: A few other favorites of the couple are said to be: Burberry, Whistles, LK Bennett and Crew clothing. So go ahead and check them out -- you never know whom you'll see inside.
And if you're still hungry for more, here are a few Royal themed exhibitions and walks taking place right now and definitely worth visiting:
The Enchanted Palace, Kensington Palace: This major exhibition, run by Historic Royal Palaces, will take visitors on a journey weaving contemporary fashion, performance, dreamlike installations and tales of the princesses who once lived there, all set against the backdrop of the magnificent State Apartments.
Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years, Windsor Castle, Windsor, February 12, 2011 - January 22, 2012: His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrates his 90th birthday on June 10, 2011. To mark this occasion, a special exhibition will be shown in the Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle, home to The Duke of Edinburgh, as Consort of Her Majesty The Queen, for nearly 60 years.
London Architecture Walks This walking tour follows the exact same route of the procession route to be taken by Prince William and the new Princess Catherine, as they leave Westminster Abbey after their marriage and service and proceed to Buckingham Palace. A guide will reveal all the extraordinary architecture along the way. (Don't worry -- you don't have to be an architect to join).
Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING! This will be the greatest royal and civic spectacle of a generation.
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