We round up the top contenders
In less than two weeks, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
We know that the new royal couple are delaying jetting off on honeymoon right away, as the following week they’re fulfilling their first official engagement together. The prince and his bride-to-be are keen travellers, both together and separately, and all manner of possible honeymoon destinations have circulated in the months since Clarence House announced Meghan and Harry’s engagement on 27 November. Here are the top contenders:
The most likely destination is currently thought to be Namibia, with an unnamed source telling the US magazine Travel + Leisure that the couple will be visiting the Hoanib Valley Camp in the north west of the country.
Meghan joined Harry on her first-ever safari in neighbouring Botswana last year and a trip to Namibia would give the couple a chance to continue where they left off, spotting endangered rhinos and desert-adapted elephants and giraffes from a luxurious camp in the remote Kaokoland desert. The south-western African nation is also renowned for the towering Sossusvlei sand dunes and the Skeleton Coast, so called for the skeletons of whales and shipwrecks that litter the dunes here.
As one of the least densely populated places on earth, Namibia certainly offers the sort of privacy the royal couple will be looking for.
Some are suggesting that Harry and Meghan might take inspiration from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and opt for the Seychelles as their honeymoon destination of choice, but a better bet for the pair, both of whom are known for their humanitarian work, is Rwanda. Meghan visited the “Land of a Thousand Hills” as a World Vision global ambassador in 2016 and called the experience “incredible”.
The couple might be tempted by gorilla-trekking amid the breathtaking scenery of this mountainous African country. It was here that the pioneering primatologist Dian Fossey studied mountain gorillas in the wild. Alongside the rich biodiversity of Volcanoes National Park in the northwest of Rwanda, Akagera National Park in the east is home to one of the largest protected wetlands in eastern Africa. It’s only recently that Rwanda has boasted the sorts of luxury accommodation options suitable for a royal honeymoon, making this something of a cutting-edge destination for the newlyweds.
Prince Harry visited Brazil on his first solo tour in 2012, staying on for a few days after completing his official duties. Meghan wrote about wanting to visit the South American nation on her now defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig. Luxury eco-lodges abound in the Brazilian Amazon and Pantanal, offering unparalleled peace and quiet, as well as nature-spotting opportunities.
Meghan wrote about wanting to visit Palawan in the Philippines on The Tig and what better time than her honeymoon to finally tick this paradise island off her list? The actor recently impressed some Filipino fans on a visit to Edinburgh with a few words of Tagalog, so she’s clearly done her homework.
A 90-minute flight from Manila, Palawan is a tropical wonderland of jungle-covered mountains, clear seas and white sand beaches. Snorkelling, hiking and island-hopping are the highlights here, though Palawan is also known as one of the world’s best scuba-diving destinations.
If the royal couple fancy a jaunt a little closer to home, they could do far worse than Italy, a favourite of Markle’s according to her blog and social media posts. The actor enjoyed her time at Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano on the Amalfi Coast and would be right at home in Tuscany given her love of wine (she named her blog after Tignanello, her favourite tipple, which just happens to hail from Tuscany). Prince Harry has made several official visits to Italy, declaring the Roman Colosseum “amazing” in 2014.
Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast both have plenty of luxury accommodation to tempt the royal couple on their honeymoon, from 12th-century castles to the former homes of Neapolitan monarchs.