Rock It Like a Royal in London

If Harry and Meghan’s OTT wedding has wetted your appetite for the red carpet treatment, read on to discover how to rock it like a royal in London.

The Catherine Walker boutique in Chelsea, London. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

The Catherine Walker boutique in Chelsea, London

STERLING SHOPPING SPREE

Whether you’re after an outfit for Ascot, an audience with the Queen, or a rather high-profile wedding, ladies can’t set a foot wrong with British fashion house Catherine Walker. Founded in 1977 by Said Cyrus and his wife, the late Catherine Walker, the label’s famous fans have included Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and her mother, Carole. Visit the showroom in Chelsea for made-to-measure creations, or check out their new “e-couture” service, which enables Catherine Walker to collaborate with your local tailor.

Two of Princess Diana’s original dresses adorn mannequins in the London atelier of Catherine Walker, one of Diana’s favorite designers. “There’s something special about the relationship between a woman and a dress,” says Said Cyrus, who founded the label with his late wife Catherine in 1977. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

Two of Princess Diana’s original dresses adorn mannequins in the London atelier of Catherine Walker, one of Diana’s favorite designers. “There’s something special about the relationship between a woman and a dress,” says Said Cyrus, who founded the label with his late wife Catherine in 1977.

For gentlemen, there’s Gieves & Hawkes, offering ready-to-wear and bespoke luxury menswear. For centuries, it has also produced military regalia, including uniforms for the monarch’s bodyguard, and holds several royal warrants. A custom suit will set you back around £5,000 ($7,000), but you’ll be joining a brotherhood that includes Sean Connery, Winston Churchill, David Beckham and Michael Jackson. A replica of the gold-embroidered tailcoat Jackson wore on his “Bad” tour occupies a glass case in the tailor’s headquarters at 1 Saville Row.

Gieves & Hawkes, the esteemed menswear tailor, makes the uniforms for the Honourable Corps of Gentleman at Arms, the Queen’s bodyguard. They’re stored at the tailor’s headquarters at 1 Saville Row in London. © Amy Laughinghouse

Gieves & Hawkes, the esteemed menswear tailor, makes the uniforms for the Honourable Corps of Gentleman at Arms, the Queen’s bodyguard. They’re stored at the tailor’s headquarters at 1 Saville Row in London.

For scent-sational style, follow your nose to Floris, the only perfumer to hold a Royal Warrant from the Queen. Floris has wafted from the wrists of everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Ian Fleming, and they’ve created fragrances for royal weddings dating back to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The exact recipe for Harry and Meghan’s special scent is secret, but word is, the bride will come up smelling like roses.

The ledger at Floris perfumery in London's Mayfair includes orders for King Edward III, who was made Duke of Windsor when he abdicated, and his brother The Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II's father, who later became King George VI. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

The ledger at Floris perfumery in London’s Mayfair includes orders for King Edward III, who was made Duke of Windsor when he abdicated, and his brother The Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II’s father, who later became King George VI.

POSH PALACE

Peruse a collection of Princess Diana’s most glamorous outfits, including several by Catherine Walker, at “Diana: Her Fashion Story,” on display through the end of the year at Kensington Palace. A separate exhibition, “Victoria Revealed,” offers insight into the life of Queen Victoria and features stunning jewels commissioned for her by Prince Albert.

“Diana: Her Fashion Story” examines the evolution of Princess Diana’s style at an exhibition on display at Kensington Palace until the end of 2018. © Amy Laughinghouse

“Diana: Her Fashion Story” examines the evolution of Princess Diana’s style at an exhibition on display at Kensington Palace until the end of 2018.

Kensington Palace is just as relevant to the monarchy today. It was here, in the sunken garden, that Harry and Meghan announced their engagement last November. The location was certainly convenient for Harry, as he, William and Kate all call the palace home—as will Meghan after her marriage. One wonders if the young royals ever pile onto a palace couch and dial up Domino’s delivery while binge-watching “The Crown” on Netflix.

CROWNING GLORY

Speaking of “The Crown,” London is rife with film locations for the series. Dewi Evans, a guide for BritMovieTours, offers a two-hour walking tour, beginning at Temple tube station and ending near Buckingham Palace. Evans dishes out the insider scoop as you take in highlights like Middle and Inner Temple, Trafalgar Square, and Admiralty Arch.

Tourists gather at the entrance to Buckingham Palace. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

Tourists gather at the entrance to Buckingham Palace.

“The writer doesn’t really like the royals,” Evans reveals in a conspiratorial tone, “so he’s able to make them much more human.” The series should not, however, be viewed as a documentary. “Did Prince Philip really shag anything that moved?” he asks coyly. “My personal opinion is, probably not. But some things we’ll never know.”

BritMovieTours guide Dewi Evans offers walking tours of “The Crown” film locations in London. Here, he motions toward 4 Essex Court in Middle Temple, which stood in for the entrance to Lord Altrincham’s office in the Season Two episode “Marionettes.” © Amy Laughinghouse

BritMovieTours guide Dewi Evans offers walking tours of “The Crown” film locations in London. Here, he motions toward 4 Essex Court in Middle Temple, which stood in for the entrance to Lord Altrincham’s office in the Season Two episode “Marionettes.”

WHERE TO SLEEP LIKE A KING IN LONDON

The Dorchester, with its proximity to Buckingham Palace in London, has hosted Prince Philip, who held his bachelor party here, and Hollywood royalty like Liz Taylor. Legendary dining options include the three-Michelin starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, The Promenade (famous for afternoon tea), and The Grill, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with clever mirrored panels that pivot to (literally) reflect a different mood from day to night.

The Grill at The Dorchester Hotel in London. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

The Grill at The Dorchester Hotel in London.

For a taste of the Far East, check out the Cantonese cuisine at The Dorchester’s China Tang. The bar is as legendary for celeb-spotting as cocktail quaffing. Recover the next morning with a pampering session at The Dorchester’s soothing spa.

China Tang at The Dorchester Hotel in London. Copyright Amy Laughinghouse

China Tang at The Dorchester Hotel in London

 More tourism info: www.visitbritain.com, www.visitlondon.com

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