Despite all the hype, it’s really not all that hard to find a private honeymoon retreat fit for a prince.
Everyone who is anyone is heading to the Indian Ocean at the moment. Osama’s burial took place there, and now Prince William is planning on honeymooning on the same seas. Both men are used to avoiding the media spotlight, but while Osama’s security team obviously still has a little work to do, Prince Willie’s team is doing a top-notch job of keeping all details of the royal honeymoon a secret. Even his blushing bride doesn’t know where they’re going (“Surprise!” “Darling the one place I said I didn’t want to visit was Somalia”).
The frustrated media is talking on and on about the size and complexity of the operation required to find a suitably romantic spot, and to keep it safe and secluded. They talk about it like places of this kind are hard to find in the world. Perhaps if they’d assembled a team of backpackers and road junkies, instead of unimaginative security personnel, they could have drawn up a longer list of suitable destinations. And reduced the risk of the corpse of the world’s most dangerous terrorist washing up on the royal couple’s private beach.
The main trouble that royal honeymooners seem to have is that they can’t think beyond the Commonwealth. Let’s be honest; the British Empire isn’t what it once was. There was a time when the sun never set on the Empire, but these days there aren’t that many options for a Commonwealth honeymoon. No one in line for the throne is likely to receive clearance to spend alone time in Pakistan, Sierra Leone or Jamaica. A lot of the remaining options just aren’t that exciting. Charles and Diana stopped in at Gibraltar, but decided not to stay when the local monkeys took an interest in the royal kilt (and regions beneath).
Most road junkies have their own list of private sanctuaries; the kind of places that a Prince could take his Princess without fear of paparazzi hiding behind every palm tree. Admittedly the attraction of these places is mostly that no royal entourages have as yet discovered them, but given how tight-lipped Prince William is proving, it seems pretty safe to share a few tips with him. For the good of the ailing commonwealth.
One of the most secluded countries in the world, and also reportedly one of the happiest, Bhutan puts tight controls on the few tourists it receives. A planeload of paparazzi won’t get far here. Prince William is likely to find a sympathetic figure in Bhutan’s young king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (did I spell that right?), and might learn a few things about benevolent use of power from Jigme’s father (who forced his country to accept democracy). Bhutan also has some pretty powerful fertility traditions, which could come in handy; the entire Commonwealth is expecting a long, ecstatic, procreative consummation.
Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast
Here is a chance to thumb the royal nose at the paparazzi and hangers-on, given that Nicaragua’s entire Mosquito Coast was once a British Protectorate, and thus a part of the Empire. Those days are long over, though, and no one in Britannia is going to be thinking of Bluefields as a likely honeymoon destination. Still, the locals speak English, there is plenty of secluded coastline, and any cameramen that do turn up will probably find their gear rusted, waterlogged or missing before too long. The biggest risk out here is probably of the newlyweds having too much fun. If their long-hoped-for first son is born with dreadlocks instead of a receding hairline, there may be some serious questions asked about the order of succession.
Perhaps this seems like an unlikely choice, but it comes with a number of benefits. First of all, it’s very big and there are lots of people to hide behind. Second of all, China comes with a ready-made apparatus for suppressing journalists and censoring online media, which should mean that no scandalous pictures of the royal consummation see the light of day (the Duchess of York probably should have taken this into account when planning her holidays).
Alaska is beautiful, remote and as safe as anywhere in these difficult times, but it’s greatest attribute is undoubtedly the opportunity for the royal bride to learn something about grace under fire from one of the great woman leaders of our time. Under Lady Palin, Her Royal Highness would stand to learn a great amount about dealing with the media, and about proper shotgun handling. Prince William, for his part, could try his hand at hunting something larger than a fox. Obama killed bin Laden. Putin can kill grizzlies just by looking at them (there may be some KGB icepicks involved as well). It’s high time England had a head of state that could kick ass (and no, Thatcher definitely doesn’t count).