The inevitable has happened: when Prince Harry got down on one knee for American actress Meghan Markle, England's most eligible bachelor became officially spoken for. As the couple begins preparations for their castle wedding next May, we can't help but daydream about where these lovebirds, both world travelers, will jet off to celebrate. What better way to cap off a whirlwind courtship than with a trip of a lifetime? Here, six stunning—and personal—honeymoon spots worthy of the royal treatment.
There's no denying Botswana holds a special place in the twosome's hearts. Just a few weeks after their first blind date in 2016, Markle met Prince Harry in Botswana for a camping trip under the stars. (Prince Harry is a patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana, which perhaps inspired his choice of destination.) Just a year later, to celebrate Markle's 36th birthday in August, they spent a romantic three-week trip traveling through Botswana, ending at Victoria Falls. And when it came to choosing the center stone for her engagement ring, Harry sourced the diamond from—you guessed it—Botswana. Because they stayed at Meno a Kwena, an old-style safari camp overlooking the Boteti River, we think they'd feel equally at home at andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, an architectural marvel whose nest-like suites look out over the floodplains adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve—home to elephant, lion, zebra, and—yes—rhino.
It might be their shared passion for humanitarianism that sparked the first connection—in 2016, Markle traveled with World Vision Canada to Rwanda to oversee a clean water project. There's a chance she might return to this lush east African country with her new beau to tick off a bucket-list item: trekking to see endangered mountain gorillas. The conservation program at Wilderness Safaris' new Bisate Lodge, built on 67 acres of reforested land, works with local farmers to protect—and rehabilitate—the surrounding ecosystem.
Italy's Amalfi Coast
If Markle's multiple Italy-related #tbt 'grams (she recently spent time romping through Capri, Positano, and Cinque Terre with her best girlfriends) are any indication, she's pining for another Italian escape. We wouldn't be surprised if the happy couple headed further down the peninsula's coast to Amalfi to wander its maze of narrow streets hand-in-hand and hole up at the Hotel Santa Caterina, whose 19th-century villa includes a glass elevator that whisks guests down to the private pool and beach club. After shopping the city's famous hand-painted ceramics and sneaking a kiss by the Duomo di Sant'Andrea cathedral, a day trip to nearby Ravello might be in order. Once there, a tour of the iconic Villa Cimbrone is a must: its gardens and statue-lined terrace feature some of the most breathtaking views of the coastline.
Following their lavish royal wedding in April 2011, the newly-minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a big brother William and new wife Kate) jetted off to a private island resort in the Seychelles for some well-deserved privacy. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but we suspect H + M will want to make some memories of their own. Thanda Island, off the coast of Tanzania, seems like the perfect middle ground: this exclusive-use, 20-acre private island resort off the mainland has just five bedrooms and an owner heavily dedicated to conserving both the island and its nearby marine reserve. After snorkeling in Chole Bay, which is home to endangered whale sharks and sea turtles, a soak in a beach-side copper tub seems like the natural next step.
After one last private get-together over New Year's, the couple stepped into the spotlight as an official item—then immediately jetted off to Tromsø, Norway, to catch the Northern Lights. For pure nostalgia's sake, a throwback to the vacation that started it all could definitely be in the cards. Norway is often hailed as "the world's most beautiful country," so it won't be hard for these lovebirds to find romance again under the spell of its stunning fjords, craggy cliffs, and charming, small-time cities like Bergen, Geiranger, and Henningsvær, in the Lofoten archipelago.
It's easy to forget that magic can be found close to home. Prince Harry knows. (After all, unlike his older brother's grand gesture in Kenya, he popped the question right in London, in what's to become his future home at Kensington Palace.) Balmoral Castle, the royal family's Scottish home, was the honeymoon destination of choice for the prince's parents, and might just be the quick and easy mini-moon he and Meghan need—following their nuptials at Windsor Castle—as they gear up for a bigger jaunt later on.
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