Unless you’ve been on a media blackout for the past few months, you probably know there’s a royal wedding coming soon!
The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/rtlAnFCWTf
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 27, 2017
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Prince Henry of Wales aka Prince Harry is getting hitched! While details about the royal wedding are slowly leaking out (it’ll be on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in case your invitation gets lost in the mail!), there are still many unknowns.
As per royal tradition, Prince Harry will receive a new title upon marriage, most likely Duke of Sussex, as one of the gifts her majesty the Queen bestows upon her grandson, but what about the other guests? This wedding will be filled with the who’s who of the rich and powerful global elite, so this begs the question, what do you get someone who has everything? If you thought it was hard to shop for the people in your life, imagine picking an appropriate gift for a prince! Since it’s a pretty safe bet that Harry and Meghan don’t need a blender or new place settings for their nuptials, after all, they already have a palace, we do have a suggestion for anyone looking for a standout gift for the new Mr. and Mrs.
When Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1936 she was gifted mostly expensive jewelry and precious materials, former President and Mrs. Reagan gifted Prince Charles and Lady Diana an ornately engraved Steuben glass bowl and Boehm porcelain centerpiece, showing that unlike most dealings with the royal family, there isn’t really a protocol to follow when it comes to wedding gifts. In more recent history, for their 2011 wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate asked their guests to donate to a charitable gift fund (which raised $1.7 million for 26 different charities!) but also received items such as a painting, shoes, and a Land Rover. So what could a guest who wants to stand out bring to Harry and Meghan’s wedding celebration?
First, it’s important to look for something they’d actually enjoy. When taking that into account, it’s easy to notice that this couple loves to travel.
On New Year’s Eve 2017, the couple flew to Monaco, a small principality on the Mediterranean that was once the home to Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly known as actress Grace Kelly. Monte Carlo, the coastal capital city, is a prime party spot for the rich and famous during this time of year. The couple has also taken trips to Norway, Jamaica, and Botswana and are allegedly planning to visit the US, Australia, and Lesotho in 2018. During their Norway and Jamaican trips, the couple stayed in Tromvik and Montego Bay respectively, both coastal cities, indicating they love a beach vacation.
With this in mind, a gift having to do with travel and the beach sounds like a great start.
What about a place with a royal history? Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s only sibling, and Harry’s great aunt has a storied history of her time in Mustique, her favorite place to be, where she went to get away from the harsh public eye, something Harry knows all too well.
Prince William and his wife Kate spent their honeymoon in Seychelles because of its gorgeous beaches, clear waters, and luxurious and secluded hotels, although the couple is known to love Mustique as well. The pair has vacationed there many times including while Kate was pregnant with their first child Prince George and after the birth of their second child, Princess Charlotte, when they were joined by Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, as well as her siblings.
So they love to travel, like beaches, and the family has history on Mustique, a villa seems like a great idea, right?
There’s actually a precedence for Mustique properties being given to royals. Purchased by Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner in 1957, Tennant gifted Princess Margaret with one of the most secluded, best-situated parcels on the island where she built her home so this would be a similar gesture. The home she built was her escape for 30 years and was passed on to her son who sold it in 1998.
But Harry and Meghan aren’t your typical royals. They’ve broken royal protocol before and it’s expected that their wedding will be no different, from deviating from the traditional fruitcake wedding flavor (they’re going with banana cake) to having Meghan’s mother walk her down the aisle, this couple likes to do things a little differently.
This is why the perfect wedding present for these lovebirds would be their own private island, near the favored Mustique. Currently, there are two possible islands for sale that would make a perfect place for the couple to create their own holiday paradise, Baliceaux and Isle à Quatre, both also part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The proximity to Mustique (about 4 miles for Baliceaux and 6 miles for Isle à Quatre) means that they would only be a short boat ride away from the glitz and glam, but would be able to enjoy absolute privacy once they returned to their island.
This privacy is important to the royal family who learned just how far a paparazzi’s telephoto lens can see when Kate was unknowingly photographed sunbathing topless from nearly 1km (2.2 miles) away. It was thought that the photographer who captured those images was on a public road and using an extremely powerful lens, both completely legal and hard to avoid. The elevation of both of these islands would make it impossible for a photographer to get a shot from the water and enacting a no-fly zone like Mustique has, would mean that there would be no privacy concerns. Prince Harry, who had his own naked photo scandal in 2012, would be pleased to know that he and his new wife would be free to roam as they like on their island. And what better wedding gift than tropical freedom?
After considering all the above, if you’ve got an invite to the nuptials and a couple extra million dollars laying around, Baliceaux or Isle à Quatre seems like they would be the perfect gift for the new Duke and Duchess.