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Royal Couple To Wed Amid Opulence, Honeymoon Like Commoners

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Photos: Peter Smith/Derry Moore/The Royal Collection

Presumably in preparation for an upcoming appearance on Rich Bride, Poor Bride, a British couple named William and Kate toured several rental ballrooms in Slough, England, before deciding to save a little money by holding their wedding reception at his grandmother's house instead. Okay, well it doesn't hurt that the Archbishop of Canterbury christened you there, grandma regularly holds soirees for 1,500 people in her ballroom, and that grandma is the Queen of England. That's right, when Prince William and Kate Middleton finish tying the knot at Westminster Abbey, they'll head across town to a palace that was, according to the royal wedding website, purchased by King George III in 1761 to "use as a comfortable family home close to St James's Palace." Buckingham Palace might not need an introduction, but we've rarely seen pictures of its overtly opulent interiors (above). But after the fancy episode at the palace, it's off to the Islands of Scilly for, as the Daily Mail put it, "a budget honeymoon." Yep, even the prince is pinching pennies.

Instead of jetting off to the Seychelles or some other far-flung British protectorate, the royal couple are reportedly planning on spending their honeymoon much closer to home, on the Isles of Scilly. No, not the Italian island of Sicily, the British islands of Scilly. Never heard of 'em? The isles are actually a petite archipelago off the southern coast of Great Britain that enjoy the country's most mild climate, and have attracted droves of tourists in recent years. That shouldn't let up following a royal romp, and if the availability of these three rental cottages—and possible Will and Kate honeymoon haunts—is any indication, the fans of royalty are already descending on the islands: the rentals are booked up from the date of the wedding—April 29th—until early August.

? On the island of St. Mary's, the Gatehouse Cottage rents for up to $3,200 per week and features beautiful 17th-century stone work, a location adjacent to ancient garrison walls, a private sunken courtyard, and a comfortable and modern interior. Not quite a princely palace but some peace and quiet nonetheless.

? Next door is the Guard House Cottage, where the royal entourage could keep a eye on the young heirs to the throne. It rents for up to $4,300 per week and is better outfitted for large groups, with a spacious living area and open kitchen perfect for a nosy security detail.

? For a bit more privacy, Steval is set down a narrow dirt lane on the grounds of the island's former fort, and once served as home to the gun battery caretaker. It boasts sweeping views of the ocean and rents for $3,200 per week. Though much smaller than the other two, the distance from official chaperones should keep the regal newlyweds happy.

· The Royal Wedding 2011 [official site]
· Buckingham Palace [official site]
· Credit crunch William and Kate considering a budget honeymoon in the Scilly Isles (where Charles took Diana) [Daily Mail UK]
· The Gate House [Duchy of Cornwall]
· The Guard House [Duchy of Cornwall]
· Steval [Duchy of Cornwall]