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Flop or fab - The Royal Wedding


7:47am 28th April 2011

Tourism Chiefs in York are gearing up for the Royal Wedding with a host of special events and exhibitions celebrating all things ‘royal’ in the city. The Royal Wedding is tipped to be one of the most-watched events in TV history, with millions expected to tune in worldwide.

Having this month scooped the top spot in a national independent poll to find out the nation’s favourite small city, the tourism agency Visit York is now pulling out all the stops to ensure York benefits from the increased interest across the globe in all things royal.

A brand new walking tour of the city; Royal York, will take visitors on a whistlestop tour recounting tales of George VI, amongst other royals, who famously said, ‘the history of York is the history of England’; the story of six Royal Weddings will be recounted by the Director of Kensington Royal Palace in a guest lecture at Fairfax House and special storytelling sessions are planned at the National Railway Museum titled, ‘Quick! The Queen is coming’, recounting stories of Queen Victoria’s stay in York. 

The last few tickets are selling like hotcakes to view the Royal Wedding live in York’s Mansion House at a special event with the Lord Mayor of York and in celebration of William and Kate’s wedding, visitors will also be treated to a special exhibition on all things royal at York Minster, exploring some of the history of weddings conducted there.

Gillian Cruddas, Chief Executive of Visit York said:

‘York has an outstanding array of royal connections and some fascinating royal history. We are aiming to attract visitors from the United States and Europe, as well as closer to home to celebrate our royal connections, not just in April but throughout the coming year. We’re confident William and Kate’s wedding will ignite new interest in York’s royal history across the globe, boosting visitor income for York throughout 2011.’ 

Curiously the only English Monarch who was born in England and exclusively married an Englishwoman is none other than Richard III, to whom a whole museum is dedicated to in York. Henry VIII had four English wives, but also a Spanish one and a German one. Charles I was Scottish and married a Frenchwoman. Our present Queen married Prince Philip, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. Assuming Prince Charles and Prince William become Kings, they (having both been born in England and marrying Englishwomen) will join Richard III on this very exclusive list.

Full details on all of the events and celebrations in York including all of York’s royal connections are available at here  ENDS


YorkWalk - Royal York Tours - A new walking tour has been organised to celebrate this year's Royal wedding

Sunday 1 May, 10.30am and Sunday 31 July, 2.15pm

Tour departs from York Museum Gardens, no booking necessary

£5.50 adults £4 children under 5’s free

Please click here


Mansion House – Watch the wedding live with the Lord Mayor of York

Since 1725 the house has been the home of the Lord Mayors of York and houses one of the finest civic collections in the country, including fine silverware, clocks and furniture.


Friday 29 April, 10am

A unique opportunity to watch the Royal Wedding at the official residence of the Lord Mayor of York – nearly sold out.


29 April 2011 -  Hats on for The Royal Wedding – Middlethorpe Hall

The ceremony will be shown on a big screen at Middlethorpe Hall Hotel throughout the day whilst you enjoy champagne and a very special wedding breakfast, booking essential.


Discover York Minster’s Royal Connections

A visit to York would be incomplete without a visit to York Minster. York’s Minster is renowned all around the world and is the largest medieval gothic cathedral in northern Europe.


Monday 18 April – Wednesday 11 May 2011


Royal Wedding

In celebration of the royal wedding York Minster will display unique items with royal connections and explore weddings in the cathedral.

Free, after admission to the Minster.



7 July – 30 November 2011

The Word made flesh: Bringing the Bible to the people
The Old Palace, Dean’s Park

This July, York Minster’s centre for Historic Collections will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the Bible with an exhibition in the Upper Hall.  Find out how the King James Bible encouraged people to explore their own thoughts, and reveal why the authorities used propaganda to convey their message.

Opening Times: 12-4pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
Admission Cost: £3

Click here for more information, Tel: 0844 939 0011


Fairfax House – and the story of six Royal weddings

Fairfax House is one of the most distinguished 18th century town houses in Britain and now the ideal backdrop to the Noel Terry Collection of Furniture, also one of the finest of its type. 


Saturday 30 April, 7pm

Prettily Arranged: The Story of Six Royal Weddings

In this very special lecture to mark the Royal Wedding, Nigel Arch, Director of Kensington Royal Palace, will explore the fascinating social and diplomatic aspects of 18th and 19th century British royal weddings, as well as the lavish wedding costumes that were worn for these important occasions.

Tickets: £14.00 / £12.00 includes wine & soft drinks.

Please click here , Tel: 01904 655543

Visit the National Railway Museum and its Palaces on Wheels

The National Railway Museum is custodian of the largest and finest collection of royal railway vehicles in the world including Queen Victoria’s favourite saloon. Palaces on Wheels, a permanent exhibition in the Museum’s Station Hall tells the fascinating story of royal rail travel, from its infancy in the early 19th century, through to the opulence of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, followed by the more austere times of the Second World War.


29 April – 2 May

The Museum will be hosting special storytelling sessions based on the Royal trains. Quick! The Queen is Coming explores the role of the ordinary people who helped make it a smooth journey when Queen Victoria travelled from London to York by train. The Museum’s archive centre Search Engine will be displaying a wealth of Royal train memorabilia from timetables to tickets.

Click hereTel: 08448 153139


Barley Hall – from Hamlets to Hollywood and the King’s Speech

This meticulously restored medieval townhouse, right in the heart of York’s historic streets, was once home of Alderman William Snawsell, Goldsmith and Lord Mayor of York.

EXHIBITION – From Hamlets to Hollywood

From May 2011 to May 2012

A Costume Exhibition called “From Hamlets to Hollywood” will be on display at Barley Hall. The costumes will be taken from Hollywood films (Alan Rickman’s Judge Turpin costume from Sweeney Todd, Heath Ledger’s Casanova outfit from Casanova and Helena Bonham Carter’s costume, Colin Firth’s costume and Claire Bloom’s Queen Mary Outfits – all featuring the costumes used in the recent Oscar winning ‘The Kings Speech’.  

29th May - 'Dressing Mr Darcy' - explore the intricacies of the gentleman's wardrobe through this fascinating talk and demonstration. 

Click here Tel: 01904 615505, Coffee Yard (Off Stonegate)


Clifford’s Tower and its Knight’s Family Fun Trail

In 1068-9 William the Conqueror built two mote and bailey castles in York to strengthen its military hold on the north, Clifford's Tower was first built in wood and then the four lobbed keep was built in the 13th century atop the mound of William's larger fortress. 


Fri 29 April – Mon 2 May

Knight’s Family Fun Trail

Clifford’s Tower is running a Knight’s Family Fun Trail; ‘The Queen has asked you to invite the mini model English Heritage knights and squires to a banquet. Can you find them and deliver this invitation in time? You’ll be royally rewarded with a small prize’....

Visit Here Tel: 01904 646940


Micklegate Bar Museum & the Battle For Kingdom

As York’s most important gateway, Micklegate Bar is traditionally the point at which Kings and Queens of England enter when visiting the city, normally with great ceremony. It is also the place where the heads of traitors were displayed to serve as a lesson to others.


Towton: A battle for a Kingdom exhibition (coming Easter 2011)

10am – 4pm, normal admission prices apply. Exhibition runs until 30th October.


An innovative new exhibition to tell the triumphant and tragic story of Britain’s bloodiest battle, which decided the fate of a kingdom and left thousands dead.

Visit here for more information.


Treasurer’s House – Upstairs Downstairs

A beautiful house, attractive gardens, welcoming tearoom – and some of the most famous ghosts in York. Originally the Minster’s Treasurer lived on this site; it was his responsibility to run the Minster efficiently. 


Sunday 3 July, 2pm

Upstairs, Downstairs

June 1900 is when the Treasurer’s House hosted the Royal visit of the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward Vii. Discover what this meant for the staff of the house on a guided tour of their living quarters in the attics followed by a glimpse of high society with a decadent afternoon tea.

Tickets: £15.00, Booking essential


Click here, Tel: 01904 624247


York Theatre Royal’s Two Planks and A Passion


Friday 1 – Saturday 16 July 2011

Two Planks and a Passion

This production will be performed in the main house from Friday 1 – Saturday 16 July. The play by Anthony Minghella, tells the story of the York Guilds putting on the York Mystery Plays in 1392 and refer to the visit King Richard II and Queen Anne made to see the Plays that year. This will be a pre-event to the York Mystery Plays 2012 to be held in York Museum Gardens in the summer of 2012.

Public contact: Visit here to find out more about the production and to buy tickets or call the Box Office on 01904 623568


Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum reopened on 1 August 2010 following a nine-month £2million refurbishment project. Five new galleries now showcase some of Britain's finest archaeological treasures and many rare animals, birds and fossils, in exciting new displays.

The Yorkshire Museum has many Royal connections in its collections, including:

Richard III – The Middleham Treasures (Jewel, Boar Badge, Plaque)

Henry IV – The Middleham Ring

St Mary’s Abbey, York Museum Gardens - Henry VIII stayed here in 1540 for three months (made famous recently in the books of C J Sansom.

The Royal Mint was based in St Leonard’s and the York Castle Museum building for a while and York Museums Trust houses many of the coins.

The Yorkshire Museum houses various Royal Seals from Edward 1 onwards .

For more information visit here

Richard III Museum – and all the Royal Marriages since William the Conquerer....

Located in the imposing gateway of Monk Bar at the entrance to Goodramgate, this is the only one of York’s four bars or gateways whose wooden portcullis is still in working order. 

Curiously the only English Monarch who was born in England and exclusively married an Englishwoman is noneother than Richard III himself! Henry VIII had 4 English wives, but also a Spanish one and a German one. Charles I was Scottish and married a Frenchwoman. Our present Queen married Philip, son of Andrew of Greece. Assuming Prince Charles and Prince William become Kings, they (having both been born in England and marrying Englishwomen) will join Richard III on this very exclusive list.

Public contact: For more information, visit hereTel: 01904 634191


The present day Queen’s last visit to York was in July 2000.  She visited York Minster and passed through Micklegate Bar.  The Lord Mayor at the time was Cllr Shan Braund.  That was the Queen’s first visit to York since 1988. Certainly Prince Andrew Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Philip have all visited York in the past ten years – and Prince William had an £8 curry in York in 2008, generating fantastic media coverage for the curry house owners at Saffron Desi on Micklegate.


For any further information and your free guide to York, please contact: Visit York Information Centre, Tel: 01904 550099, email info@visityork.org or visit the website at here


Visit York

  • Visit York is supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, City of York Council and tourism businesses. Welcome to Yorkshire is charged with improving the Yorkshire and Humber visitor economy.


  • Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.  Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and developing the tourism product. 


  • Visit York is the driving force of the city’s tourism industry. Key facts:

7.1 million visitors

£443 million total visitor spend

23,000 jobs


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