Modern Royal London Trail

Patricia Campbell has rounded up the best things to do in London inspired by the young breed of Royals. If you want to party with Princes or be pampered like a Princess, we’re here to help you discover London’s lesser known gems and you may spot a familiar face or two on this Contemporary Royal London Trail.

Day one

I start off bypassing the crowds at Buckingham Palace and make the distinctly regal borough of Kensington and Chelsea our base, booking into Premier Inn Kensington Olympia (22-32 West Cromwell Road, SW5 9QJ). 

Fuelled by a huge full English breakfast and Costa Coffee at the hotel, we head out to the nearby Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. While you can’t exactly pop in for a cuppa, you can view the royal residences occupied by monarchs of times gone by and catch the Fashion Rules exhibition which traces the sartorial style of Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s to that of Princess Diana in the 1980s. 

From here, we jump on a classic London bus to the King’s Road in Chelsea, where the Duchess of Cambridge is often spotted among the throng of shoppers. Some of Kate’s favourite high street brands are here, including Reiss and Whistles, as well as the department store Peter Jones, with its Royal Warrant.

I can’t but help to sneak a peek inside The Shop at Bluebird (350 King's Rd, SW3 5UU) a high-end fashion boutique founded by Belle Robinson, the Jigsaw boss who once employed Kate as an accessories buyer.

From here, I stroll down the King's Road to Chelsea Harbor and I become a copy-Kate, shopping for interiors at Mulberry home and the Design Centre, mentally picking out items fit for a palace. Then I might stop by the salon of celebrity hairstylist Richard Ward (82 Duke of York Square). The caretaker of the Duchess’ enviable mane of glossy locks doesn't come cheap, but you can book in for a Chelsea blow dry with a junior stylist for just £25. 

With dusk approaching, there is just time to make our way to Old Bond Street and window shop at Alexander McQueen – Sarah Burton famously designed Kate’s wedding dress – whilst wandering past other Kate-approved designer brands like Burberry on the way. 

Night falls and we channel party-loving royal Prince Harry by heading to the Punch Bowl pub (41 Farm Street, Mayfair, W1J 5RP). Its famous former owner might be Guy Ritchie, but it was Prince Harry’s longtime chum Guy Pelly who helped make it a success. Later, we head to royal hangout Mahiki (1 Dover Street, W1S 4LD), the kitsch Polynesian-themed nightclub known for its potent rum cocktails served in large treasure chests. There’s no guest list here, so anyone can play at being a boho-aristo.

Exhausted by a night of cocktails and dancing, we amble back to hub by Premier Inn in Covent Garden (110 St Martins Lane, WC2N 4BA) and soothe our party feet (and heads!) in a welcoming Hypnos bed.  

Day two

After checking out from hub by Premier Inn, we blow the cobwebs away by visiting royal locations outside of central London, starting off with a restorative walk through Bushy Park, London’s second largest Royal Park where Henry VIII used to hunt. We leave the park and head towards Teddington, and treat ourselves to a traditional English roast at The Kings Head (123 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HG) a popular pub that dates back to William Windsor’s namesake, William III.

Feeling rejuvenated, we catch a bus to Twickenham Stadium (Whitton Rd, TW2 7BA) and take in a muddy England rugby match. Sports-mad Harry is a regular here (he once brought on-off girlfriend Cressida Bonas to watch England v Wales) and he’s Vice Patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

On sunnier days, when rugby is not an option, I like to head to Petersham Nurseries (Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB) and enjoy tea and cake in the Michelin starred café. With close links to the Princes Trust, the café often hosts star studded events in its beautiful gardens and the food and setting are sublime. 

As evening draws in, we head back to our final stop of the weekend, the London Richmond Premier Inn (136-138 Lower Mortlake Road, Richmond, London) and end our weekend of living like royalty, until next time.

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