Culture / Travel

The Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Royal Wedding Diary: Our Texan in London Takes You Inside the Frenzy — and Tells All

BY Julian Leaver // 05.24.18

LONDON — I have always been fascinated by the British Royal Family. The palaces, the crowns, the uniforms and, of course, the palace intrigue. The Queen and her family have been a consistent lodestone in the backdrop of my life. From the marriage of Diana, Princess of Wales, to Prince Charles, the birth of their sons, their turbulent divorce, her tragic passing, his remarriage, and now the marriage of both of their sons – their lives and movements have been a living soap opera since my arrival on the planet.

So when the chance to travel to England for the marriage of their youngest son to the first American princess presented itself, you bet I jumped on the first plane to Britain! And as an extra bonus, I had the pleasure of bringing along my boyfriend, Francisco Diaz, on his first trip to the continent.

Herein our adventures in the land of High Tea and Marmite to cover the wedding of their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2 pm CST: We arrive at DFW Airport via my friends at GroundLink and proceed directly to the recently remodeled Admirals Club in Terminal A. The Terminal D Club is currently under renovation so if you’re early for your next International trip pop on over to A via the SkyLink. You won’t be disappointed.

3:50 pm CST: We board our American Airlines flight to London. Cheers to a direct flight, an exit row and priority boarding. We’re settled in before the majority of the plane has boarded. Next stop the British Isles.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

10:30 am GMT: Fully rested and ready to go we land in London. To our surprise 50,000 other former colonists have had the same idea as us and the border crossing wait is a dreary three hours. Even the Fast Track lane is backed up.

1:30 pm GMT: We’ve made it through passport control, grab our bags and jump on the Heathrow Express. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of a 15 minute ride into the center of the city, I suggest you try it. Buy your tickets in advance and save a little – a tip I picked up from my friends at the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.

2 pm GMT: Having checked into our hotel in trendy Shoreditch, we head out for a little exploring. First stop, Buckingham Palace. Sadly, the Queen has already departed for Windsor, but we enjoy a walk through Hyde Park on our way to tea.

3 pm GMT: Tea Time! No trip to London is complete without a stop at the Royal Warranted Grocer, Fortnum & Mason’s, Jubilee Tea Room. Full from scones, Jubilee chicken and two slices of cake from the tea cart, it’s time to continue our exploration.

6:30 pm GMT: Our SoHo exploration complete, we head to the location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first date, Soho House, Greek Street, for happy hour and dinner with friends. I can see how two people could easily fall in love at this romantic and discreet location. No pictures please!

Friday, May 18, 2018

9:30 am GMT: A day full of exploration begins. We start with a tour of the Crown Jewels at The Tower of London, cruise down the Thames by riverboat, view the entire city from The Coca-Cola London Eye and take in as much of the incredible weather as possible. No rain, who knew?

2:30 pm GMT: Sketch, the London staple for the Tea experience is calling our name. Safely ensconced in our pink velvet banquette, we take in the caviar man, the men in grey rompers and the women in flower dresses. All while being surrounded by influencers from the Chelsea flower show going on just steps away.

8 pm GMT: Our adventures complete, we head home after our stop at Huntsman on Saville Row to get some rest for the big day ahead.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

6 am GMT: Thanks to our friends at GroundLink, we arrive bright and early to Windsor Castle for the Royal Wedding Day. Now time for a mile-and-a-half hike to The Long Walk. Security is tight and the world’s press may outnumber the guests.

9 am GMT: Having located our spot on The Long Walk, we’ve set about meeting our new neighbors: A couple whose son married a Dallas girl, friends who’ve travelled in from Ireland and Scotland, and a fabulously quirky Brit who lives in Paris and camped out overnight.

11 am GMT: Our new friends made (and the camper now changed out of her overnight clothes into a proper dress), we all witness the arrival of our Princess. Meghan Markle and her mother head to the castle via Royal Rolls Royce. Cheering and flag waving ensues.

11:30 am GMT: It’s go time. Watching on large screens the crowd cheers each new celebrity arrival, Fergie, The Duchess of York, receives a surprisingly huge ovation and of course the Queen herself brings everyone to their feet.

12 pm GMT: Nobody does precision like the British Royal Firm and at the stroke of twelve, Ms. Markle alights from her car to ascend the steps of St George’s Chapel, Windsor. A truly captivating service ensues complete with a Fiery American Bishop and a Southern Style Gospel Choir. We Texans felt right at home.

1 pm GMT: The service complete, the cheering deafening, and a kiss from the married couple later we all gather to see the new Duke and Duchess process in their open top Ascot Landeau through the streets of Windsor. The stunning weather attributed by many to Diana looking down on her son tying the knot.

6 pm GMT: A long car ride home, a nap and a quick hop on the Central Line have landed us at our last dinner at Bombay Bustle. Samosas, chutney and laughter were had by all and brought to a close our truly British adventure.

This chapter of the Royal saga closed I look forward to the next generation’s continuing the tradition of Royal watching and the new additions to The Firm that are to come in wake of this Meghan Markle and Prince Harry union.

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