General views inside Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey has been used as Britain’s coronation church since William the Conqueror in 1066, with the exception of kings Edward V and Edward VIII, who were not crowned. King Charles III will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned there during a ceremony on May 6, 2023.
Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The grandeur of Westminster Abbey and the Crown Jewels—both ceremonial treasures steeped in British coronation history—will be part of the pomp and pageantry when King Charles III will be crowned in a highly-anticipated ceremony on May 6 alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort.
It’s been 70 years since the world witnessed the tradition of the British monarchy, making it a historic and once-in-a-lifetime event.
To offer guests an immersive experience of this momentous occasion, London’s Hotel Café Royal has curated experiences (from April to October) fit for royalty with exclusive access to iconic landmarks and attractions that offer a unique perspective of British history and culture.
The Crown Jewels Experience (₹13,30,000 inclusive of VAT per night) provides guests an exclusive opportunity to view the iconic jewels that played a vital role in British coronations.
“Guests will be able to marvel at the largest diamond in the world, the 17th-century solid gold St Edward’s Crown and Sovereign’s Orb, used during coronations, as well as the 20th-century Imperial State Crown,” says Guillaume Marly, managing director of Hotel Café Royal.
The King Charles III Experience (₹270,000 inclusive of VAT per night) includes a chauffeured private tour to iconic landmarks—Clarence House, St James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace—associated with the new King in a vintage Daimler that once belonged to the Queen Mother.
“Guests will be guided by a royal expert to explore St Paul’s Cathedral to the Guildhall Gallery to view a 1969 bust of a young King Charles III,” says Marly.The Imperial State Crown.
Image: Johnny Green/PA Images via Getty Images
Of course, no quintessential British experience would be complete without a traditional Champagne afternoon tea, which will be served in the centuries-old (founded in 1865) fine dining restaurant, The Grill Room, which has hosted British icons like Princess Diana and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
It’s the kind of bespoke cultural experience alongside luxurious accommodations affluent Indian outbound travellers are seeking to explore, and international brands are taking note.
Also read: Beyond Coronation Quiche: London is serving up special delicacies for the crowning of Charles III
In 2022, nearly 5 percent of Hotel Café Royal guests were from the Indian market, and the number has steadily been on the rise in 2023.
The hotel is part of the luxury hotel group, The Set Collection, which is looking to strengthen its distribution and strategic visibility in the Indian subcontinent as a key source market.
“These hotels have been celebrated as architectural masterpieces and historic hotspots for decades, unifying yesteryear’s craftsmanship and present-day splendour,” says Yeishan Goel, group CEO, THRS (Travel & Hospitality Representation Services), whose company is the group's representation partner in the Indian subcontinent.
“This unique blend ensures that guests are treated to an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of their chosen destination,” says Goel.No quintessential British experience would be complete without a traditional Champagne afternoon tea, which will be served in the centuries-old (founded in 1865) fine dining restaurant, The Grill Room, which has hosted British icons like Princess Diana and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Image: Courtesy Hotel Café Royal
Today’s Indian traveller, Goel says, is willing to spend generously on brands that specialise in this niche and are experienced in catering to the demands of high-profile guests.
“As a result, there has been a surge in demand for offerings that combine regional flavours with luxurious comforts, providing the best of both worlds,” says Goel. “Brands that invest in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Indian culture and values are at an advantage.”
Mandeep S Lamba, president (South Asia) HVS ANAROCK, a global hospitality consulting firm in New Delhi, has spent over 30 years in hospitality. As India recently became the fifth-largest economy in the world in the face of slowdown and recession threats in developed economies, it makes sense, Lamba says, that international brands would entice wealthy Indians to travel abroad by offering them unique, memorable experiences to their expanding loyalty members.
“India has the potential to become an important source market for international destinations with more and more Indians getting added to the affluent travellers list each year and the increasing appetite for travel,” says Lamba.