Honyemooning as the Royals Do
Royal weddings like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's inevitably invite breathless international coverage. The dress! The venue! The celebrity guests! It's enough to keep the tabloids humming, and the public in a constant state of anticipatory intrigue.
But once the nuptials end, the hoopla isn't over. Instead, everyone becomes fixated on another matter: the royal honeymoon.
Fittingly, royals have long selected some of the world's most divine locations to revel in their post-wedding bliss — from tropical paradises housing luxury retreats to African destinations promising once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Not uncommonly, they visit said places by traversing the seas on a private royal yacht (naturally).
Read on to learn about some of the most spectacular royal honeymoon destinations ... including the rumored locale where Harry and Meghan spent two weeks.
Namibia: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Post-wedding, Harry and Meghan delayed their honeymoon to head back to work. But the couple spent a very private two weeks honeymooning in an undisclosed location. While there were rumors that they stayed at the luxury Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Canada, but the other likely spot was a trip to Namibia. The destination is near and dear to Harry, who has made African conservation one of his pet causes.
The couple reportedly stayed at the Hoanib Valley Camp, an intimate getaway with just six rooms crafted from locally sourced materials and powered by solar energy. Not surprisingly, the main activity here is wildlife viewing, with giraffes, elephants and rhinos among the common finds.
Seychelles: Prince William and Kate Middleton
William and Kate reportedly spent $5,500 a night for a private villa with a personal butler on one of the islands of this East African archipelago. Luckily, you don't have to splurge quite as much to enjoy this idyllic locale, known for its crystal-clear Indian Ocean waters, white-sand beaches, and superb snorkeling and diving.
We recommend staying at Bird Island Lodge, a collection of eco-friendly chalets on an island roamed by giant turtles and, yes, lots of birds. The stay won't be cheap, but it'll provide an experience you won't soon forget.
Galapagos Islands: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
The sensational union of a Hollywood megastar and her European prince demanded a sensational honeymoon. So it's only right that the couple chose to visit the extraordinary Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Ocean archipelago so rich with wildlife, it inspired Darwin's "On the Origin of Species."
Grace and Prince Rainier traveled between the islands on (what else?) a yacht; you can do the same on a more modest cruise ship or boat. Watch out for marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and massive Galapagos tortoises.
Tahiti: Princess Caroline of Hanover and Philipe Junot
Princess Caroline, the eldest child of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, clearly shares her parents' exquisite taste in destinations. For her honeymoon, she journeyed to Tahiti, the Polynesian island where azure seas are flanked by towering mountains.
The best way to enjoy a vacay here is by staying in an overwater bungalow; combine this unforgettable experience with the utmost in luxury by booking The St. Regis Bora Bora.
Hampshire, England: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
If you want to travel as the Queen and her husband did, head to Hampshire, the largest county in South East England. The just-married lovebirds stayed at Broadlands House, today open for public tours. Also in the area: Highclere Castle, the main filming location for "Downton Abbey."
William's grandparents also spent part of their trip sailing the Mediterranean on the Royal Yacht Britannia; years later for their honeymoon, Prince Charles and Diana made the same trip.
Balmoral Estate, Scotland: Prince Charles and Princess Diana
After their own Mediterranean sailing trip on the Britannia, Charles and Diana ended their honeymoon with a rather unromantic stop: by visiting Charles' family at Balmoral Estate, the royal family's Scottish residence.
Today, guests can rent out lovely cottages on the grounds of Balmoral, and explore the area via a safari tour. Commonly spotted animals include birds of prey, red deer, red grouse, black grouse, snow bunting and salmon.
Cyprus: Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall
The honeymoon of The Queen's granddaughter and her husband came a month after "The Daily Mail" published photos of Mike seemingly kissing an ex-girlfriend. Still, the pair seemed to enjoy their stay at Cyprus, the sunny island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The couple stayed at Columbia Beach Resort, which is actually a fairly affordable choice for mere peons. If you're planning your own Cyprus visit, make sure to explore the area's sea caves and ancient ruins at The House of Dionysus.
Tanzania: Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson
The heir apparent to the Denmark throne took his beloved to Tanzania, where the couple stayed for three weeks — relatively long for a royal honeymoon, but not nearly long enough to explore this densely packed East African country.
Globetrotters who head to Tanzania for their own African getaway can enjoy visits to the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro, African's highest peak; the idyllic archipelago of Zanzibar; and sightings of zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes, hippos, lions, cheetahs and more.
Azores Islands: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Before their marriage was derailed by scandal and divorce, The Queen's second son and his betrothed honeymooned in these islands off Portugal, sailing there on the venerable Britannia.
Azores combines tropical beauty with startling features like volcanic caverns and mud pots. And it's particularly well-suited to adrenaline fiends; favored activities include canyoning and paragliding.
Barbados: Princess Anne and Mark Phillips
After her wedding, the Queen's only daughter absconded to the Caribbean island of Barbados, famous for its powdery beaches and sugarcane fields.
Fittingly, this island is known to be the most British culturally; it was ruled uninterrupted by the commonwealth for 340 years before it became free in 1966 (just six years before Anne's honeymoon).
The couple would go on to sail other parts of the Caribbean seas as well, but their union was not meant to be; they divorced in 1992, and Anne has since remarried.
South Africa: Peter and Autumn Phillips
No doubt about it: The Queen's grandson and his beloved made a sound choice for their honeymoon locale. South Africa is one of the world's most diverse regions for discovery, rife with sandy shores, expansive deserts, staggering peaks and astounding wildlife. And they stayed at a standout hotel — Tuningi Safari Lodge, featuring luxe accommodations in the heart of the Madikwe Game Reserve.
How they went about honeymooning is, however, more contentious. After getting into hot water for selling their wedding photos to "Hello! Magazine," they further fanned backlash by reportedly staying for free at Tuningi in exchange for promoting the hotel.
Fiji: Prince Carl Philippe and Princess Sofia of Sweden
One of the most beautiful royal couples chose a fittingly beautiful honeymoon destination: the South Pacific country of Fiji, comprised of some 300 pristine islands.
A favorite among A-listers — Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood and Britney Spears have honeymooned there as well — Fiji boasts lush rainforest and impressive sand dunes in addition to its famous sandy beaches.