Has the wait for The Royals on E! rekindled your longtime dream of marrying a prince or princess? Or would you be happy just being a duchess' consort? No matter your aims, one thing is certain: in order to bag a royal, you must first encounter one. Luckily, royals in public are not rare if one knows where to look. When hunting hippos, one must go to the hippos' watering hole; the same is true when seeking out royalty.
This area of London is home to some of the most exclusive private clubs imaginable — the kinds of places where you have to be nominated by a minimum of three members, approved by a committee, and pay £1,200 just to join. (That's not including annual fees of £1,500, or drinks once you're in.) Royals go because their friends go there. Are you sneaky enough to become one of them?
Should the members-only clubs of Mayfair prove impenetrable, you may have better luck on the King's Road, where many of the royals' pals own trendy nightclubs. While gaining entrance to these establishments doesn't involve scaring up references, you should still make sure you look and sound the part. By which I mean: gentlemen, wear your red trousers as if they were iconic and not ironic, and be sure to sport your floppiest hair. Ladies, purchase your dress nearby. As for your coif, volume is key.
In order to fit in, speak like you've a plum in you mouth. Try not to open your jaw too much when you enunciate. Pronounce really like "rully," hello like "hullo," and say "yah" for year. (Some moderate of tippling should help with this challenge.) If you want to go all out, change your name to Jasper or Tors (short for Victoria). Even better: Jazza and Torzie.
In Belgravia, you'll find one of the most exclusive tea rooms in London. Now that you know how to pour a perfect cup and eat sherry trifle without raising eyebrows, try taking your tea where the royals do. Just remember not to add lemon and milk to your Darjeeling or you will be ejected from the establishment.
Sloane Square, at the intersection of Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Chelsea, has long been known for the wealthy so-called "Sloane Rangers," who use it as their personal playground.
Here, you'll find a certain establishment at which one can procure tequila and tacos and join dancers clad in BDSM gear in their revelry. You can also buy a methuselah of Perrier Jouet Belle Époque for £10,500, or Louis Roederer Cristal for £29,900. This is a place with a clientele so well-heeled that there's a separate entrance for royal-types, who need not degrade themselves by parading past the flashing bulbs of the paparazzi. You, on the other hand, will have no such luxury, so try not to look foolish.
This is where the yummy mummies of the royal family can often be found pushing their designer prams or walking their dogs. You won't even have to open your purse to bump into them — because fresh air, unlike bottle service, is still free of charge. If you do have a few pounds to unload, though, you might consider purchasing a dachshund — a pure breed is the perfect icebreaker for striking up conversation with well-bred humans.
Can't even afford a plane ticket to London? Never fear. Although you're less likely to cross paths with a royal in the USA, it's not impossible.
Those who lead lives of extravagant, state-funded indolence love to show how generous they are, so if you're in New York City, your best bet for sighting a royal is by sneaking into the glitziest, most high-profile charity gala you can find. Don't know the right publicist to put you on the list for whatever ball the Met is throwing this week? Never fear: nothing says benevolence like laying hands on sick kids! Loiter long enough outside the children's wing of a hospital, and you're likely to bump into a princess.
On the West Coast, the best place for royal-spotting is on the red carpet of any star-studded premiere. After all, royals like to be among their own kind. So when all else fails, just figure out which basketball game the King and Queen of America will be attending, and head there.
So happy hunting, dear readers, and good luck landing your prince or princess. Just don't come crying to me if the queen commands you to throw your catch back into the river. And if you've been loitering at the corner of Sloane Street and King's Road for the last two hours and still haven't noticed anyone wearing a crown stroll by, well — there's always Monaco as a last resort. But there's an even easier way to get your royal fix: don a homemade tinfoil tiara and tune in to the premiere of The Royals, tonight at 10/9c on E!
Misti Traya is a writer and actress living in London. Her recipes and ramblings can be found at Chagrinnamon Toast.
Illustration by Alexandra Cannon.