On the eve of his royal wedding to Kate Middleton, Prince William could not sleep. “[The crowds] were singing and cheering all night long, so [with] the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing — I slept for about half an hour,” William said in the documentary Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother. Keeping with age-old tradition, he and Duchess Kate spent their final night as an unwed couple in separate accommodations.
William, who was 28 at the time of his nuptials, stayed at Clarence House with his brother, Prince Harry, father, Prince Charles, and stepmother, Duchess Camilla. Leading up to his sleepless night, the giddy prince surprised fans with an impromptu meet-and-greet, shaking hands with hundreds of well-wishers camped outside Buckingham Palace. “All I’ve got to do is get the lines right,” William adorably told the crowd at the time.
As for the royal-bride-to-be, Kate spent her final bachelorette moments with her family, including sister Pippa Middleton, brother James Middleton, and parents Carole and Michael Middleton, in the luxury suites of London’s five-star Goring Hotel. The crew booked out all 71 of the hotel rooms — which go for a cool $6,700 a night — for their friends and family.
Earlier that day, Kate headed to Westminster Abbey for a final wedding rehearsal with best man Prince Harry and the flower girls and page boys, while Prince William was on duty at RAF Valley. The future princess waved to crowds when she checked into the Goring Hotel with her loved ones while dressed in a polka-dot sundress, cream cardigan, and wedges.
Prince Harry, too, may have spent a chunk of the pre-wedding moments at the Goring Hotel. According to select reports at the time, the “party prince” raved at the hotel until 3 a.m., just eight hours before the wedding. Insiders claimed that he made his exit by jumping out of one of the hotel’s balconies, causing him to land badly on his ankle. Oh how things have changed!
How will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spend the night before their wedding?
Kensington Palace has confirmed that the soon-to-be-married pair will lodge at separate hotels in the Windsor area on Friday evening. Harry will stay at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park, a five-star country house in Ascot, joined by his best man and older brother, Prince William.
Room rates at the exclusive location start at $429, but there’s a good chance the prince will opt for one of the hotel’s spacious suites, which cost around $1,750. He could also spring for the Dower House, a cottage set within beautiful private gardens in the grounds of the countryside estate. The stand-alone residence has three en-suite bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen with a personal chef on request, as well as a private gated entrance and parking.
Meanwhile, Meghan Markle will stay at Cliveden House Hotel, on The National Trust’s Cliveden Estate in Berkshire. She will be joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, who will accompany her daughter to the St. George’s Chapel ceremony on Saturday, May 19. Here, a classic room will set you back around $722 a night on weekends during the summer months. However, it’s thought the Duchess-to-be and her mom will chose to stay in the more private Spring Cottage, a three bedroom residence nestled near to the banks of the River Thames on the estate.
Just like Kate in 2011, the world will be given the very first glimpses of Meghan’s wedding dress when she leaves her hotel to drive to St. George’s Chapel. Unlike 2011, we don’t anticipate Harry jumping out of any balcony windows.
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