With her own wedding on the horizon, Jennifer Hawkins
was excited to go to London
to see how things are proceeding for the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
It's been a while since Britain has enjoyed a big royal wedding. They are always huge events, watched by millions around the world. Cynics always pop out of the woodwork, but really, most people are happy to see the pomp and ceremony surrounding royal events.
Jen met Andy Walker, a look-alike of the handsome young Prince William, and he's having the time of his life. In fact, it's his full-time job these days. Andy actually played rugby against William's younger brother, Prince Harry, in their school days. That must have been weird for the younger prince.
Jen met James Whitaker, royal reporter since the 1960s. He covers all major events and will be part of the Nine Network's team for the April wedding.
They visited Garrard Jewellers in Mayfair, which was established in 1735 making it the world's oldest jewellery house. They made the ring Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana for their engagement.
In 1911 Garrard made Queen Mary's coronation crown, as well as the Imperial Crown of India worn by King George V. In 1937 they made the crown for the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's crown. It was set with the Koh-i-Noor diamond and was adjusted for the current Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. Garrard is very much a window-shopping establishment.
Rumour has it that Little Venice Cake Shop will be given the wedding cake responsibility. They have made cakes for royalty, but will neither confirm nor deny if they have been given the huge task.
Ritz London is a hotel in the grand old style. It is where Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday and Golden Jubilee. It is the only hotel to have been awarded a royal warrant by the Prince of Wales. It's a good bet that some of the 1900 invited wedding guests will be staying there, but management's lips are sealed. They did bend quite considerably when they allowed the film Notting Hill to be shot there. Afternoon tea is quite the thing to do at Ritz London.
The marriage will take place in Westminster Abbey. Steeped in more than a thousand years of history, the tradition of daily worship established by Benedictine monks in the 10th century continues to this day.
Westminster has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the resting place of 17 monarchs. The Gothic building is one of Britain's most important and is a treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts.
Around some of the sights of London.
The Ritz London suites start at around $790 a night. Afternoon tea is around $65 per person.
Emirates has flights to London and 26 other European destinations via Dubai, departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Emirates has an exclusive discount for Getaway viewers. Check their website for full details: www.emirates.com/getaway.
Prices correct at March 17, 2011.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
The Ritz London
London W1J 9BR
Ph: +44 20 7493 8181
Fax: +44 20 7493 2687
Visas: Visas are not required for Australians entering the UK for tourism for stays of less than six months. If you wish to work, you must obtain the appropriate two- year visa in advance.
Electricity: 220V with a three-point plug.
Currency: The British Pound Sterling.
International dialling code: +44.