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Top 10 wedding venues fit for a queen

From majestic castle to ancient inn, we've picked 10 wedding locations with a royal connection

1. Glamis Castle, Forfar

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For centuries of heritage

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Although this was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (aka the late Queen Mum) and she honeymooned here with George VI, she wasn’t the first queen associated with this stately pile. The Scottish royal court made regular house calls here 500 years ago and Mary Queen of Scots herself rocked up for a week-long stay in the 1560s. Today the Castle has a busy fixtures list throughout the year, hosting everything from musical festivals to highland games.

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Facility fees are from £1200 for a ceremony only and from £3500 with a reception. This doesn’t include marquee hire. Rooms for ceremonies for between 40 and 90 guests include the evocative 16th century Tudor kitchens (pictured). Afterwards you can hold an evening reception for 60 in the Crypt or a drinks reception for up to 200 in the Italian Garden.

Get in touch glamis-castle.co.uk

2. Loseley Park, near Guildford, Surrey

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For heavenly rolling hills

This private home has dominated the surrounding Surrey parkland since the first Queen Elizabeth was on the throne and some of the dramatic panelling in the Great Hall once stood in her father’s Nonsuch Palace (sadly pulled down in the 17th century by Charles II’s mistress to pay off gambing debts!). Today the house and park at Loseley is still the seat of the More-Molyneux family.

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Civil ceremonies for up to 100 can be held in a choice of locations, from the small and simple Drawing Room, to the imposing Great Hall (pictured) or the more relaxed Tithe Barn. You can also round off a civil ceremony with a blessing in the chapel or the Great Hall. Party-wise, you can celebrate with a drinks do in the walled garden, a wedding breakfast in the Tithe Barn (up to 140) or pack up to 400 inside a marquee. Menus from £45pp.

Get in touch loseleypark.co.uk

3. The Goring Hotel, Belgravia, London,

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For Middleton magic

One bright April morning last year, the spotlight was firmly on the front of this London landmark. The soon-to-be Duchess of Cambridge had spent her last night as Ms Middleton in the lavish royal suite (pictured) and the world’s media was waiting for that first glimpse of The Dress. And the royal connections don’t stop there. When peace was declared in 1945 the young Princess Elizabeth came here for celebratory sausage and scrambled egg with George VI. The Windsors also chose it to celebrate the christening of a young Prince Charles. We love the sound of one of the specials on the summer menu, Eggs Drumkilbo – a dish of hard-boiled egg, prawns and lobster with Tabasco that was, reportedly, a favourite of the old Queen Mum.

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Capacity here is somewhat smaller than last year’s royal bash. Ceremonies can be held in the Drawing Room for up to 20, with receptions in the Archive Room for up to 44 seated or 100 guests for a cocktail reception. Ceremony room hire from £500, reception hire from £650. Canape menus from £22.50pp; lunch and dinner menus from £48.50pp.

Get in touch thegoring.com

4. St. John’s Smith Square, Westminster, London

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For following in royal footsteps

According to legend, this baroque church minutes from the Houses of Parliament got its distinctive corner towers thanks to a royal tantrum in the early 1700s! When its architect asked Queen Anne how she wanted it to look, she apparently kicked over her footstool in temper and said ‘like that!’ Today it hits the headlines as a prestigious concert venue whose patron is none other than HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Throw a banquet for up to 300 in the impressive and imposing concert hall itself, or keep it simpler with a reception or dinner in the restaurant. Space hire from £1000-£3000. Menus are bespoke, no packages available. No ceremony licence.

Get in touch sjss.org.uk

5. Somerset House, The Strand, London

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For riverside romance

The original house on this site had a succession of royal owners including Elizabeth I before she came to the throne, and the queens of James I, Charles I and Charles II, who all treated it as a private residence away from court to entertain friends. The Tudor building was torn down in the late 1700s and its neoclassical replacement became a place of business, most famously as the former Public Records Office for Births, Marriages & Deaths. Today it’s a super-fun venue popular in the worlds of fashion and film with its courtyard of fountains in summer and famous ice rink in the winter.

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Ceremony venue hire from £3000, receptions from £6000. Wedding breakfast or dinner can be arranged for up to 80 guests, or throw a drinks party for up to 150. Ceremonies up to 100 only.

Get in touch somersethouse.org.uk

6. Pennsylvania Castle, Isle of Portland, Dorset

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For vows with a view

This ruggedly-romantic clifftop castle (built by the grandson of the man who founded Pennsylvania) was officially opened by a royal princess, also an Elizabeth and daughter to King George III, in 1800. Today you can get married in the round library, the orangery or exchange vows beneath a sweet gazebo in the grounds. Either way the views all around the property are simply stunning.

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Hire the castle for £1300 for the ceremony, £4000 for the reception or £4500 for both. Add £700 for an outdoor ceremony. The castle dining room seats 40.

Get in touch pennsylvaniacastle.com

7. The King’s Head, Aston Cantlow, Warwickshire

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For olde worlde charm

Shakespeare’s mother and father were married at the Norman church down the road from this 15th century pub and legend has it they had their post-nuptial knees-up beneath the oak beams afterwards! Today you can have a small intimate reception inside this award winning inn that’s famous for its duck dishes, or throw a bigger party in a marquee during the summer months.

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Up to 20 guests can be seated in the restaurant. A la carte starters from £4.50, mains from £10.75.

Get in touch thekh.co.uk

8. Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian

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For evocative ruins

Set beside a picture-perfect loch, these stunning ruins were once a majestic palace – a favourite of the Stuart royal family and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Today they offer a great set of locations for civil, religious or humanist ceremonies and a dramatic backdrop for photos. Even the fountain (pictured) in the centre of the courtyard is known as the ‘wedding cake’.

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You can have ceremonies for up to 60 in the Undercroft with its vaulted ceiling, or in the Great Hall, a roofless hall with an amazing fireplace.

Get in touch
historic-scotland.gov.uk/weddings

9. Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on-Avon

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For Deco-loving divas

Enter stage left the revamped RSC, officially reopened by the Queen in spring last year. The world-famous theatre in the Bard’s hometown is now offering drama queens (and their leading men) the role of their lives, with a ceremony on stage and their guests as the audience. There’s even professional artist coaching, if you want it, to help with voice projection or combatting nerves.

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Choose from 11 spaces, including the main theatre (up to 1000) or the smaller Swan (up to 400), or throw a chi-chi reception at the art-deco-style Scott Foyer bar, with its impressive marble staircase (pictured) which can do a cocktail party for 120 or cabaret-style seating for 80+. Space hire from £750-5500.

Get in touch rsc.org.uk

10. The Royal Horseguards Hotel, London

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For a stylish salute

Just a stone’s throw from the real Horseguards, where her majesty troops the colour every June, this luxury hotel is at the heart of the royal establishment (and you can practise your Kate and Wills wave as you arrive down Whitehall). Weddings and functions are held in One Whitehall Place, in the neighbouring building, with spectacular views over the Thames and the London Eye.

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The River Room can seat 70 for a meal, or celebrate in big style with up to 250 in the Gladstone Library. Wedding packages from £110pp.

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Get in touch guoman.com