View Video
02:08
The Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan

Windsor Castle tour: Guide to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding venue

Nicola Brady, CNNUpdated 29th August 2017
(CNN) — Call it the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle effect, or the popularity of shows such as "The Crown" (of which the Queen herself is reportedly a fan) but Britain's Royal Family is having a worldwide moment.
This excitement should reach a pinnacle on May 19 -- the date Harry is set to tie the knot with Meghan.
Invites have already been sent, but even if you didn't receive an RSVP, there's nothing stopping you embracing your inner royal with a visit to Harry and Markle's wedding venue: Britain's Windsor Castle.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe/Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, Windsor Castle is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, who spends most of her weekends there. While you're unlikely to spot the Queen strolling down the hallways in her housecoat, it's easy to tell whether she's at home -- the Royal Standard flag flies from the Round Tower whenever she's in residence.
According to Royal officials, Harry and Markle picked the venue because Windsor Castle is "a special place for the two of them."
The castle itself dates back to around 1070, when William the Conqueror chose the land and construction began. It has seen many changes since that time, with various royals making adjustments over the years -- Edward III made costly renovations in the 14th century, and extensive restorations were undertaken following a devastating fire in 1992.
When you travel here, you should plan on spending around to two to three hours within the castle, making your way between the various sections open to the public.

The main event

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have their service.
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have their service.
WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ceremony will take place in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle's Gothic place of worship which dates back to the 14th century.
The spectacular St George's is also the final resting place of 10 of Britain's monarchs, including Henry VIII.
If you want to see where the wedding vows will take place, you'll be pleased marveling at St George's Chapel is included in a Windsor Castle admission ticket. That said, keep an eye on the Windsor Castle website to make sure the chapel isn't closed for events on your chosen day.

Incredible must-sees

The grand interior of St George's Hall, at Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan will hold their post-wedding reception.
The grand interior of St George's Hall, at Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan will hold their post-wedding reception.
WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Most visitors make a beeline for Queen Mary's Dolls' House, an extraordinarily intricate affair with electric lights, hot and cold running water and even a flushing toilet.
The State Apartments are absurdly luxurious, from the vaulted carved ceilings to the Rembrandt hanging on the wall (note that the Semi-State Rooms are only open to the public between September and March).
Queen Elizabeth II leaving the 2017 Easter Day service at St George's Chapel.
Queen Elizabeth II leaving the 2017 Easter Day service at St George's Chapel.
WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
As the castle is still very much in use, certain areas may be closed throughout the year, so keep an eye on the website, where most closures are detailed. If your heart is set on seeing the Changing of the Guard, you'll need to be well within the grounds by the time it starts at 11 a.m. (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in April 2018, weather permitting).
The changing the Guard takes place at Windsor Castle at 11am.
The changing the Guard takes place at Windsor Castle at 11am.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
However, if that's not a priority, you might want to arrive a little later. The castle can get extraordinarily busy, particularly during the summer months, and visiting in the afternoon means the crowds will have diminished somewhat.
Instead, use the morning to explore The Long Walk, a 3-mile stretch in the beautiful Windsor Great Park where you'll find the most impressive view of the castle (the entrance is through Cambridge Gate)
It's worth making time to explore Windsor, a picturesque English town. You can even map the footsteps of Markle and Harry, who will take a carriage procession through Windsor post-ceremony.
Windsor castle royal wedding preparations
Exploring Windsor town is also worth doing.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Tickets to the castle in 2018 cost £21.20 ($29), or £11.70 ($16) when the State Apartments are closed, and include a multi-media guide (introduced by Prince Charles, no less). Buy tickets in advance online and you'll likely avoid the larger line at the ticket desk.
Windsor is easy to get to from London by train -- routes from Paddington arrive at Windsor & Eton Central (transferring in Slough), and into Windsor & Eton Riverside from Waterloo (the castle is a 10-minute walk away).
By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. More information about cookies