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Prepare for the royal wedding with a tour of London's regal attractions
Published: Tuesday 21st of December 2010
If you are already getting excited about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April next year then you could find that taking a tour around some of London's royal attractions is the perfect way to get you in the mood for the occasion.
There are numerous locations in the capital that have ties with the royal family, so you could happily spend a day or even a weekend taking them all in.
Of course, any tour of this kind should begin at Buckingham Palace, which acts as both the office and London residence of the Queen.
Watching the changing of the guard is one of the essential things to do in London, while you are sure to want a snapshot for your holiday album that includes one of the beefeaters in their traditional red uniforms with their large, fur hats.
During the summer months, the nineteen state rooms are opened to the public, giving you the opportunity to see some of the treasures that Buckingham Palace holds, including works of art by the likes of Rembrandt and Rubens.
From the royal residence, your next stop should be the Tower of London, where you can learn about both the history of the monarchy and the city.
Constructed by William the Conqueror in 1066-67, the fortress has stories to tell from every era of British history. One of the highlights of a visit to this London attraction is the exhibit of the Crown Jewels, where you can marvel at the Imperial State Crown, as well as many other ceremonial items.
Meanwhile, on April 1st a new exhibition displaying armour belonging to kings of the past 500 years will go on display, offering a fascinating insight into the personalities of England's varied monarchs.
Another royal attraction that should not be missed is Windsor Castle, which has been inhabited by members of the royal family for more than 900 years. It is also one of largest castles in the world that is still lived in and you are sure to find a tour of its state chambers an engaging way to spend an afternoon.
In addition to the castle itself, you should make sure you pay a visit to St George's Chapel, which is located within the grounds and is described as "one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England".
The tombs of ten British monarchs can be found here, including the notorious Henry VIII and his beloved third wife, Jane Seymour.
Of course, if you are interested in the Tudor monarch then a trip to Hampton Court Palace should also be on your itinerary because it is known to have been Henry VIII's favourite royal residence.
Numerous events and exhibitions are organised each year, often revolving around Henry VIII, giving you the chance to learn more about the king and his six wives.
Finally, with Prince William's wedding arranged for April 29th, you are sure to want to see Westminster Abbey, where the nuptials are due to take place.
The architecture and design of the abbey is bound to impress and there are many fascinating artefacts, tombs and memorials to discover in the cathedral. In fact, some of the most famous figures in British history are buried here, including Sir Isaac Newton, William Gladstone and Elizabeth I.
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