Where in the world can the newly-weds go?
What a smart move by William and Kate to postpone their honeymoon and return to work to allow the frenzy of their wedding celebrations to calm down. In the next fortnight, they are expected to leave for an overseas holiday, the location of which, despite feverish speculation, remains a secret.
From the Scilly Isles to the Seychelles, all manner of romantic escapes have been touted as possibilities for the highest-profile honeymoon of the century.
The newly-weds’ choice of destination will speak volumes about their diplomatic skills. Cuba, China and many more countries will be excluded because of human rights concerns.
The couple are said to be infatuated with Africa, but some obvious contenders on that continent just won’t make the list. Kenya has the allure of a Masai Mara safari combined with an Indian Ocean escape, but it also has the reality of murderous terrorist attacks in both Nairobi and Mombasa. From a security point of view, it’s just not a runner.
In the Middle East, while Jordan has always been a close friend of Britain, its proximity to hotspots such as Syria simply rule it out.
An island is more likely to satisfy those charged with the couple’s security, especially in light of heightened concerns following Osama Bin Laden’s death. One of the Italian isles could appeal, but it is no coincidence that the collective noun for celebrity photographers is paparazzi — the risk of intrusive lenses erases Italy from the list.
The royal families of Spain, Sweden and Norway could gladly guarantee discreet alternatives from Mallorca to Spitzbergen, but the PR of Clarence House will insist the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do not stray beyond the Commonwealth.
The Caribbean is tempting, and islands such as Mustique, Necker and Bequia have the benefit of being easily secured, but, with the storm season brewing, the weather rules them out.
In contrast, Mauritius is freshen ing up at the end of the cyclone season and involves no serious jetlag, but the murder of honeymooner Michaela Harte in January will count against the island.
Canada is out too, since the couple’s will be going there on their first official tour two months from now.
Closer to home, the Med is perfect in May before the crowds descend. Malta is a likely frontrunner. But the strongest contender among royal gurus, it seems, is an archipelago that is often confused with the Bahamas and Barbados.
Bermuda, 1,000 miles north of the West Indies, is a dream destination from several perspectives.
As one of Britain’s few remaining Overseas Territories, security can be assured. The weather at this time of year hovers around a comfortable 24°C and, crucially, it is within easy reach with a daily flight from Gatwick the only link from Europe.
The only certainty for now is that whichever destination is chosen, it can expect a surge of subsequent bookings from commoners seeking of a touch of class.