1. Toronto, Canada
Harry and Meghan were first publicly seen together in Toronto, where the LA-born actress has a base as the hit show Suits, in which she stars, is filmed there. Links between British royals and Toronto go back more than 100 years – Edward VII opened the city’s Queen’s Park in 1860 and the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth II herself have all visited at least once. Hello magazine reports that Her Majesty “always stays in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Royal York hotel whenever she is in Canada, as did her parents.”
The place looks suitably chateau-esque and its Imperial Room has been a major live venue since the middle of the last century, with Marlene Dietrich, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald all having performed there. Doubles at the hotel cost from around $140 (Dh510). fairmont.com
2. Cowes, The Isle Of Wight
This tiny sliver of Britain off the southern coast of England is gloriously quaint and dotted with picture-postcard villages – it’s what made the place such a draw for Queen Victoria, who built her summer home in East Cowes on the northern tip of the 147-square-mile island. The indomitable Queen’s Osborne House, as it is called, was built between 1845-51 and its sumptuous state rooms can still be explored today. The gardens are magnificent, and what’s especially good fun is to peek inside her majesty’s beachside “bathing machine” and imagine the old dear slipping into her swimming costume.
While you can’t stay in the palace, you can bed down in the former cricket pavilion on the grounds (prices from £440/Dh2,150 a night), or one of the two properties built inside the estate’s Sovereign’s Gate entrance. From £380 (Dh1,860) a night. english-heritage.org.
3. Greenwich, London
This fine borough in the south east of London is dripping with historical Royal connections. The lovely, 180-acre Greenwich Park is where King Henry VIII went hunting and also houses the Royal Observatory, while The Queen’s House on the northern edge of Greenwich Park was commissioned by the wife of King James I in 1616 and houses a number of famous maritime paintings. More recently, Zara Phillips was in the park on her horse for the Olympic eventing dressage in 2012 – cheered on by Princes Harry and William and Duchess Catherine (aka Kate).
The streets around the Old Royal Naval College are also worth a visit and will likely have an air of familiarity about them, having been featured in countless movies. Luxury lodgings are thin on the ground in Greenwich, so bed down at Brown’s Hotel in the heart of London, eight miles away. Assorted non-British royals (as well as Agatha Christie, Theodore Roosevelt and Bram Stoker) all stayed there. Doubles from around £400 (Dh2,000). visitgreenwich.org.uk
4. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia
There are two sides to this island in the Med: The rather earthy and “real” Sardinia to the south, and the swish and luxurious Costa Smeralda in the north, a place where you’re likely to see movie stars, huge yachts and the odd royal. It was developed by the Aga Khan in the 1960s, and is as popular with Middle Eastern Royalty as their western counterparts; Princess Diana famously passed through during her last holiday before she died in 1997. She dined at the iconic Hotel Cala di Volpe, which has also hosted the likes of Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, Grace Kelly and Beyoncé, and what the area lacks in authenticity (some of it is fashioned – almost Disney style – to look like an ancient fishing village) it certainly makes up for with sophistication and charm. Doubles at the Cala di Volpe cost from around £300 (Dh1,470) a night. destinationcostasmeralda.com/
While ostensibly a private island, Mustique is open to visitors, but you need deep pockets to enjoy the luxurious island life here – something that’s not an issue to visiting members of the royal family. A small slice of this 1,400-acre beauty spot in the Caribbean has especially strong royal connections: it’s a private villa named Les Jolies Eaux and was built for the late Princess Margaret (above) almost 50 years ago.
Today you can rent it from around $20,000 (Dh73,500) a week, but it wasn’t the villa of choice when Kate and William and half of the Duchess’ family turned up on the island to holiday in 2015: they are reported to have chosen Villa Rocina, which can be hired from around $16,000 (Dh58,750) a week off-season. On previous visits, Kate and William are said to have stayed at Villa Aurora and Villa Hibiscus. Slightly more affordable is the Cotton House Hotel, where various royals have been seen dining, which has rooms from around $1,200 (Dh4,400) a night. mustique-island.com
6. Tromsø, Norway
Last year, Prince Harry snuck Meghan off to Tromsø so they could gaze at the Northern Lights. The UK’s Daily Telegraph reckons this was their first holiday together – meaning it may have included the moment they looked at each other for the first time and thought, “Yeah – I could live with you.” Forbes reports that they stayed at the cosy (if rather simple) Tromvik Lodge, which is listed on Airbnb and costs from around $400 (Dh1,470) per night. One of the property’s biggest attractions is that you get to sit in its private jacuzzi and listen out for whale song. visitnorway.com
7. Mount Kenya
The second-highest mountain in Africa towers over the plains like a snow-topped skyscraper, and if you follow the right track on its northern slopes you’ll find yourself at the Rutundu log cabins where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton back in 2010. These are surprisingly simple lodgings for such a high-profile couple, lacking electricity and pretty much anything in the way of luxury, and the British press reported at the time that William got down on one knee on the veranda of their cabin when he proposed.
This is wonderful, rugged country, where people walk and go trout fishing, and the two cabins at Rutundu have roaring log fires around which to snuggle after a day outdoors (prices from around $170/Dh600 per night). Kenya’s royal links are numerous, and one place with a particular significance is Treetops Lodge in the Aberdare National Park, which is where the then Princess Elizabeth was in 1952 when she found out that her father had died and she would be Queen. magicalkenya.com
8. The Carlyle Hotel, New York
This Art Deco majesty is where JFK once owned an apartment and rumours persist that Mick Jagger owns one today, but as well as political and rock ‘n’ roll royalty, this swish address in Madison Avenue, a block from Central Park, has played host to the late Princess Diana, Kate and William (who visited in 2014) and any number of kings and queens from Denmark, Greece and Spain. William and Kate attended a dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during their spell in the Big Apple, rode up to the top of the Empire State Building and met sporting royalty (LeBron James – the world’s second-highest-paid athlete) at a basketball game in Brooklyn. Rooms at the Carlyle cost from around $400 (Dh1,500), though William and Kate are reported to have stayed in a $10,000 (Dh36,700) a night suite. rosewoodhotels.com
Despite its reputation as a hotspot for dance music-loving party-hounds, Ibiza has a classier side, and this is proving to be quite a draw for the younger British royals. According to Boat International magazine – who know where all the world’s finest yachts are moored, and when – Princess Beatrice was seen in Ibizan waters aboard Roman Abramovich’s superyacht Eclipse in 2015. The publication’s yacht-watching writer also notes that William and Kate were spotted on a smaller boat in Ibiza named Tapeka Point back in 2006.
Prince Harry may have been to this corner of the Med, too, although British newspaper the Daily Express reported in 2014 that he was worried about attending singer James Blunt’s sure-to-be-decadent pre-wedding party on the island (Blunt is an army pal). Stay at the sprawling but luxurious Ibiza Gran Hotel (doubles from around $315/Dh1,150) or the calm and sophisticated Ca Na Xica, where one of the 20 rooms can be yours for the night from around $225/Dh820. ibiza.travel