If you want to feel like a king or queen beyond your wedding day, well, it helps to have the keys to a royal yacht. But just short of that, you might travel to a private island or a country manor, historically popular destinations for European royals. Or take a note from newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who, as usual, are said to be thinking outside the box. Although they’ve delayed their honeymoon plans in order to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, it’s rumored that when the couple do go away, they’ll opt for a destination full of adventure and removed from the masses. (Among the contenders leading the chatter: Namibia, a British Commonwealth country in southwestern Africa.)
As speculation about their potential vacation itineraries continues, here’s a look back at how other royal couples before Harry and Meghan began their new lives together.
Jon Bower1923: PRINCE ALBERT AND ELIZABETH, DUKE AND DUCHESS OF YORKThirteen years before Albert ascended the British throne as King George VI, he and his bride spent the first part of their five-week honeymoon at Polesden Lacey, a country manor house in Surrey, England.
PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images via Getty Images
They enjoyed their time together there strolling through the grounds’ gardens and playing golf. Their next stop, however, ended rather unromantically, as Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, caught whooping cough while visiting her family home in Scotland.
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images1947: PRINCESS ELIZABETH AND PHILIP, DUKE OF EDINBURGHBefore they married they’d both seen much of the world, in their duties as crown princess and an officer in the Royal Navy. But when the future Queen Elizabeth II and Philip Mountbatten wed, they chose to honeymoon in sentimental destinations closer to home, splitting the vacation between two familial U.K. estates.Heritage Images/Getty ImagesTheir first stop: Broadlands, the Hampshire home of Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten.Central Press/Getty ImagesThe lovebirds then set off for the Birkhall Lodge at the Balmoral estate in Scotland, the childhood home of the Queen Mother.
Christiane GRIMALDI/Sygma via Getty Images1956: PRINCE RAINIER III AND PRINCESS GRACE OF MONACOAfter a fairytale ceremony dubbed the “Wedding of the Century,” Rainier III and the former Grace Kelly, Hollywood royalty, boarded the Deo Juvante II. The prince’s personal yacht — a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis — took the pair on a seven-week journey around the Mediterranean, making wining-and-dining stops at, among other places, the luxurious Hotel Formentor in Mallorca.
LatitudeStock/Stuart Pearce; Westend61
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images1960: PRINCESS MARGARET AND ANTONY, EARL OF SNOWDONFollowing a breakfast reception at Buckingham Palace, Margaret and her new husband boarded the royal yacht Britannia for a lavish six-week Caribbean cruise. The couple island-hopped across the Atlantic, visiting the private island of Mustique, where they were gifted a bit of land from Margaret’s old friend Colin Tenant.Fox Photos/Getty Images1973: PRINCESS ANNE AND CAPTAIN MARK PHILLIPSPrincess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips jetted off to Barbados to board none other than — you guessed it! — the royal yacht Britannia. The couple’s plans to cruise across the Atlantic were disrupted when a brutal storm with 20-foot waves assailed the ship. The bride and groom emerged unscathed — besides a little seasickness — and ended their adventure in tropical paradise on the Galapagos Islands.
Marcus Brooke; Jesse Kraft/EyeEm
Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images1981: PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA OF WALESLike many British royals before them, Diana and Charles embraced that regal #YachtLife and set aboard the Britannia for a serene cruise across the Mediterranean Sea.louisemcgilvirayAfter making a few stops in the Greek islands, the newlyweds joined the rest of the royal family at Balmoral.
Tim Graham/Tim Graham/Getty Images; tane-mahuta1986: PRINCE ANDREW AND SARAH, DUKE AND DUCHESS OF YORKAndrew and “Fergie” headed for Heathrow Airport in a horse-drawn carriage, ready to jet to the enchantingly lush Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal.tane-mahutaAfter some fun in the sun, they spent the last five days of their romantic getaway like most British royals do — aboard the Britannia.Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images2004: FREDERIK AND MARY, CROWN PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF DENMARKAfter their royal wedding ceremony at the Copenhagen Cathedral, Frederik surprised his new wife with a honeymoon to Africa.
WLDaviesThe newlyweds wanted an offbeat destination away from the public eye — and a three-week adventure in Tanzania fit the bill.Chris Jackson/Getty Images2011: PRINCE WILLIAM AND CATHERINE, DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGEConsidering that 2 billion people tuned in to watch Will and Kate say “I do,” it came as no surprise when the couple chose a remote archipelago off the coast of eastern Africa — the Seychelles — as their dreamy honeymoon spot.Cornelia DoerrWith its white-sand beaches, topaz waters, and, most importantly, secluded luxury hotels, the Seychelles provided an ideal (if temporary) haven for the second in line to the British throne and his popular bride.
Handout/Getty Images2011: ZARA PHILLIPS AND MIKE TINDALLThe queen’s eldest granddaughter, a champion equestrian, had to postpone her honeymoon with Tindall, a professional rugby player, due to both of their busy schedules.Quadriga Images / LOOK-fotoBut their romantic getaway was well worth the wait: Three months after their wedding, the couple headed to Cyprus — a Mediterranean island off the southern coast of Turkey — where they lounged by the pool at the scenic Columbia Beach Resort.