Ask any student who has lived the London experience what they think of the city, and they will tell you the same thing – it feels like the centre of the universe. The fashion, art, culture and sights captivate visitors, which is why academics and tourists flock there year in, year out.
But even by its own high standards, England’s capital will be stepping it up a gear in 2018. The royal engagement of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle saw paparazzi from far and wide go into overdrive once again, so by the time the wedding comes around in May, the eyes of the world will be on London.
Living and studying on the doorstep of some of the most celebrated, high-profile events of a generation simply to serves to reinforce the feeling that you couldn’t have picked a more vibrant place to stay.
Such is Ms Markle’s popularity on the other side of the pond, this royal wedding even has the potential to eclipse the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s big day, which had the media and monarchists in a frenzy back in April 2011.
While the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, wasn’t necessarily a household name before entering into a relationship with Prince William, Ms Markle shot to fame with a number of critically-acclaimed acting roles, none more so than her portrayal of Rachel Zane for the first seven seasons of hit legal drama Suits.
Her humanitarian work appeals to the traditionalists who adored Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, who herself carried out selfless work and awareness-raising activities around the globe, and her award-winning success on television makes her instantly-recognisable in the eyes of the Netflix generation.
The other half of this rapidly-blossoming relationship also enjoys a popularity with the general public that other members of the Royal Family could only dream of replicating. Regarded as a young man with more relatable flaws and characteristics than most who have gone before him in the monarchy, Prince Harry is seen as someone who is in touch with the nation’s feelings, in a similar vein to his mother.
All of these ingredients mean the impending wedding is sure to be the hot topic of conversation in student accommodation in London, as well as causing quite a stir in the city’s schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. Those lucky enough to have witnessed Kate and William tie the knot will know exactly what to expect – the streets will come to life with parties, flags and banners once more.
Whether we all get a day off for the royal wedding is another matter entirely – the official date hasn’t been announced yet! In the meantime, get the bunting ready and dust off those national anthem lyrics. The biggest event of the year is about to light up London.