Welcome to the second edition of your London newsletter!
April 22, 2019
Make sure you’re prepared for the trip! These newsletters will help you learn about your mentors, team members, trip details and our host event!
Below is a checklist to make sure you are up-to-date. Be sure to visit & bookmark the Living Sport London Portal where all details can be found.
1. Passport: A copy of the photo page is needed for our records.
2. Medical Records/Emergency Contact Forms: Both of these forms are very important and will be kept on file as we travel in case of an emergency.
3. Newsletter Questions & Answers and Accompanying Photos: We want to learn about you! Our newsletter will help our London team get to know one another prior to the trip. Please submit these items so we can feature you in a future issue.
4. Travel Insurance: Policies will be sent directly to your email and should be received in the next two (2) weeks. We will provide confirmation via this section in the newsletter when the policies are sent out.
5. Flight Information: Group flight information has been sent via e-mail. Tickets will be issued to you via e-mail three (3) weeks prior to our departure. If you have booked your own flight, please send your travel itinerary to your Living Sport Representative. Itineraries should include dates, times, and flight numbers.
6. Trip Information: You can find the London itinerary, lodging details, and emergency contact information for Living Sport on the online portal as well.
7. Social Media: Follow and like Living Sport's social media pages! We encourage you to document your trip using the hashtags #iamlivingsport and #LivingLondon2019. The Living Sport handle on Instagram and Twitter is @iamlivingsport. From planning, to packing, to your journey in London, we’d love to see it and be able to tag you in our posts! You’ll find our social media accounts below:
MEET YOUR MENTOR:
Ben muell - sport MARKETING consultant & living sport advisory board member
BEN'S SPORT BUSINESS BIO:
Ben Muell took a life-long passion for baseball, a team player attitude, and sense of adventure to become a sports industry sales professional.
After a brief stint playing college baseball at a D3 college in Virginia, mostly spent warming up pitchers in the bullpen, Ben transferred to Salisbury University in Maryland. There he received a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Business. He also wrote for the sports section of the student newspaper, held numerous leadership positions within his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and won a couple of flag football championships.
Before graduation, Ben entered the sport industry in 2008 after his mom, who probably knew best, suggestion he attend a sports job fair. There he landed a position as a grants and fundraising intern for Ripken Management and Design working with communities on potential youth sports facilities while also helping out during Aberdeen IronBirds games.
The following December at the MLB Winter Meetings he landed a summer internship with the Daytona Cubs, MiLB affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. That summer in Daytona was instrumental in teaching Ben the ropes of working in sports but most importantly the power of building his network.
After college, those Daytona connections led Ben to work for the Richmond Flying Squirrels during their inaugural 2010 season. Then, he as asked to join the Akron Aeros in Ohio. And the following year, Ben received a promotion to Triple 'A' baseball in Allentown, PA with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Across all three teams Ben showed a knack for sports sponsorships and also helped in a variety of roles ranging from box office operations to intern mentoring as well as the occasional appearance as batting practice pitcher and mascot.
A few years later, a LinkedIn connection and wanderlust led Ben west to help open up Learfield Sports' Mountain West Conference's sponsorship office in Colorado. During this time, when he wasn’t snowboarding or hiking, he was building partnership for the MWC's recently launched digital sports network and championship events, highlighted by the conference's annual basketball tournament in Las Vegas and first-ever football championship game in 2014.
Ben then had the good fortune to join Outfront Media’s sports sponsorship division and work for one of his favorite sports teams, the University of Maryland's Terrapins. Here his leadership, creative, and business development skills were all on display as he helped build many corporate relationships for the Terps and mentored staff members.
Ben now lives in Baltimore, MD where he works as a sport marketing consultant and Advisory Board member for Living Sport.
WE ASKED ben THE SAME QUESTIONS AS YOU!
What made you want to get into the sports industry? Sports were always an integral part of my life. From about 4 years old until 17 I thought I'd be a baseball player or coach. But life throws curveballs at you. After my freshman year at Virginia Wesleyan College where my only impact on the field was as the bullpen catcher warming up pitchers, I had to find a way to stick in sports.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? Baseball and volleyball. O's, Terps, Caps, Redskins, and Wiz.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? Account Manager for a Sports Marketing Agency or sports technology company.
What is your dream job? By day, beer company sports marketing rep. By night, Closer for the Baltimore Orioles.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our London 2019 team? My sports business background is rather varied allowing me to offer bits and pieces of insight in many areas.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? Being involved in the launch of a MiLB team in Richmond, VA and then getting the sponsorships office for the Mountain West Conference up and running — as well as selling the sponsorship of "Tattoo Night" in Richmond, VA.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to make many new connections with young sport professionals and explore all that London has to offer.
Favorite city or country you have visited? In the U.S., Puerto Rico as well as any city with ski slopes in the Rockies. In the world, Tokyo. I felt like I was living in 2050.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? I enjoy snowboarding, hiking, and wakeboarding as well as almost every social sport offered in Baltimore.
Fun-fact: I averaged 43 yards/catch in as a Wide Receiver in high school... I only had 1 catch. Hidden talent: Origami
What college/university did you attend? Major? Where do you reside now?
Salisbury University, Political Science B.A. I live in Baltimore where I attend O’s games and pretend they are good.
Let’s get to know the LONDON 2019 team!
What made you want to get into the sports industry? I’ve always had a passion for sports and once I realized I wouldn’t be a professional athlete I asked myself how I could use my other skills to be a part of the sports world. Since I was little kid I always looked up to professional sports teams and I as got older I started to appreciate all the hard working individuals who work behind the scenes making sure the show goes on.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favourite sport is Basketball. Number one team is the LA Clippers with a the Toronto Raptors being a close second.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? I think it would be amazing to be a motion graphic/ graphic designer for a NHL or NBA team in a thriving market. If it was hockey I’d love to be in a Canadian city. As longs I’m doing something I love in a city that I get to explore and discover, I’ll be happy.
What is your dream job? My dream job would be to work as some kind of creative director within the NHL or NBA. I think that as long as I am creating cool content for a sports team I would make my younger self proud.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our London 2019 team? I feel that a unique trait that I bring to the Living Sport team is creativity. I have wide range of skill sets and feel that most of the people in the program are more business oriented where I am more artistically driven.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest accomplishment in sports as a player would be competing in Alberta Basketball Provincials in High school. An accomplishment that I’ve had where I’m not a player would be being interviewed for a position with the LA Lakers. I didn’t end up getting the position but the fact that I was the only Canadian kid who was a candidate got me pretty excited and helped me realized that my dream may be closer than I thought.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I am hoping to gain more sport related experiences as I feel that I lack that. When the Living Sport Experience is all said and done, I am hoping that future employers will see this on my resume and that it will give me an edge to work towards my dream job.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favourite city I have visited so far would be Sydney, Australia as well as New York.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? One of my hobbies include comedy. I’ve done some stand up comedy routines and would love to pursue this more as a side gig. I also hosted a radio show at the university community station and when I go back to visit friends in Lethbridge I always jump on air to co-host with a friend.
What college/university did you attend? Major? Where do you reside now? I attend the University of Lethbridge, 2 hrs south of my home town, Calgary. I majored in New media which includes everything from creative writing, film production, web development, graphic design and much more. I currently live in Calgary working as a freelance graphic designer.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? Sports have been my whole life. I was a competitive gymnast for 14 years and also pole vaulted throughout high school. I have worked many different sporting events and that is where I really started to realize I wanted to be a part of the sports industry. Sports brings everyone together no matter your background and that is so inspiring to me.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport to watch is hockey. I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so I am a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? Where I imagine myself in 5 years would be working for the Pittsburgh Penguins as a part of their marketing team.
What is your dream job? My dream job would either to be a VP of Marketing for a sports team or start my own marketing firm.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? I feel that I am very energetic and love making sure everyone’s having a great time. This is going to be an unforgettable experience and everyone should enjoy it.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? I have not done much within the sports business world yet, but a hoping that this program will put me apart from everyone else within the programs I apply for in the future.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? As I said in question 6, I am hoping the International Sports Business Program really sets me apart for other internships/ jobs I apply for. I have felt that I did not have much sports experience that stuck out on my resume to employers, so I am hoping this will give me an edge going into future interviews.
Favorite city or country you have visited? Riviera Maya, Mexico
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? As I said I was a competitive gymnast for a long time and I still love the sport. Working out is a passion of mine and I love to incorporate my old gymnastics skills into how I keep in shape.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I attend Seton Hill University as a Marketing major and currently live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? My interest being in the sports industry peaked when I found my love and passion for sports at a young age. Growing up, I participated in various sports such as track and field, football, and basketball. Track and field was my primary sport. After I realized I would not be able to compete in college, I did not let that stray me away for pursuing a career in the sports industry.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is track and field and my favorite sports teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia 76ers.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? In 5 years I would I to be a facility and operations manager of a sports facility.
What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job is to be an athletic director of a university.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? The unique traits that I bring to the London 2019 team are being ambitious, I have a desire to be successful and admire those who are coaching me to get there. Another one would be being persistent, having a pattern or routine gives you more results which often lead to more success. And lastly I am very passionate while giving my greatest effort in everything I do. Once you complete a task for yourself or either someone else, you tend to feel proud about all the hard work you put in which makes you strive for more.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest sport business accomplishment so far has been helping successfully plan, organize and execute an event we host every spring at East Stroudsburg University called NIRSA Day or Rec Day.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to see how sports work through another country and gain experience and knowledge so that I can utilize what I will learn to apply it to my next job in the sport industry. I would also like to meet other people who are passionate about sports just like I am and build everlasting connections.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite city I have visited was Orlando, Florida.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? I love going on road trips and spending quality time with my close friends and family. I am also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I currently attend East Stroudsburg University, majoring in Sport Management and Minoring in Business Management. I reside in Philadelphia, PA.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? I grew up with my mom working in high school athletics, so I was always around the sports environment. As I went through high school and began thinking about my future, I knew I could not see myself doing anything outside of the sports industry!
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My two favorite sports are professional men’s golf and professional football. Some of my favorites include Rickie Fowler, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Yankees and New York Rangers.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? I would love to be working as a sales director for any PGA tournament.
What is your dream job? What is your next job? My dream job is to become a tournament director for one of the four PGA Majors! My next job is the Sales Intern for the Web.com Tour Pinnacle Bank Championship.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? I think my unique trait is always spotting a silver lining. I have always been an extremely positive person and can solve almost any problem that may arise.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? So far, my biggest sport business accomplishment so far is being accepted as a two time sales intern for the Pinnacle Bank Championship which is a Web.com Tour golf tournament.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to gain a network of close friends and mentors that I will have with me the rest of my career! I also hope to learn how to better network and present myself in the industry.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite city is Seattle!
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? I love to sing, especially with my sorority in Greek wide competitions! I am an Alpha Xi Delta at Oklahoma State University, so I am very active in philanthropy work throughout the Stillwater community.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I attend Oklahoma State University where I am a sports management major with minors in international business and marketing. I am currently in Omaha, Nebraska as the marketing and sales intern for Omaha Equestrian Foundation.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? I wanted to get into the sports industry since I have been involved in sports since a young age whether that is participating or watching sports.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is baseball. My favorite sport team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? I would like to be working my way toward achieving my dream job.
What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job is to oversee talent acquisition for a sports agency. My next job I hope is the beginning step to achieving my job.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? A unique trait I bring to the team is that I have a vast amount of event operations experience.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest sports business accomplishment is that by the time of the London trip I will have completed a Traveling Operations Associate Internship with the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour that involved traveling the Eastern United States for 5 months running youth golf tournaments.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to gain valuable knowledge of the Sport Industry from a different perspective through the international experience.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite country I have visited is the Dominican Republic.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? During my Junior year at ESU I completed a thesis titled: An Investigation of Generalization versus Specialization on Athlete Development/Success
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I attended East Stroudsburg University, majored in Sport Management, and currently I am completing a traveling internship, so I do not currently reside in any city.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? As a recent graduate, everyone asks you what your passion is and what you would like to do for a living. Never knowing the answer to that question, I realized that my whole life has revolved around sports. It has taught me so much more than any schooling I have had, and I believe that we have so much more to learn from athletics.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport to play has always been basketball. However, my favorite sport to watch is Football, and I have been a huge Green Bay Packer fan since I could talk.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? I’m open to nearly any job in the sports industry, but I would love to do sales or be a financial analyst for a bigger city team.
What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job would be some position of management in any number of departments. I love to coach and teach any craft. Being able to do this for a living in the sports industry would be a dream come true.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? I have a math/analytical background, so I have a unique way of thinking about sports that many athletes do not possess.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? I have little experience in sports business so far. My accomplishment I am most proud of thus far would be being the wide receiver coach of a USA football team and winning a game at the old Cowboys practice facility, The Star, in Dallas, Texas.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I want to acquire a number of friends and life long connections moving forward. I also hope this trip gives me a greater sense of direction and can provide me a clearer path to finding what career choice best suites me.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite country would be Portugal. Between the people and the cities’ beauty, it would be a place I could see myself living in. Learning how to surf there was also an incredible experience.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? All of my hobbies are sports centered. Lately, my most enjoyable thing to do has been experiencing sports I haven’t tried before. I am currently learning how to rock climb. I suppose the first hidden talent to come to my mind would be my ability to juggle. However, I can only juggle 3 at a time so if asked to juggle 5 soccer balls on this trip, I will try, but I will fail.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I graduated from Hamline University with a math major and business analytics/economics minor. I currently live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? I have always believed that sports connect people of all races, income levels, educational backgrounds and religions that makes a more rewarding career.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is football and baseball. I enjoy watching the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Braves.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? Being a part of a major or minor league team marketing including broadcasting, advertising, sponsorships, athlete endorsements and mobile media.
What is your dream job? What’s your next job? Work for the any team within the NFL or NBA managing aspects of marketing.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? I have managed and hosted marketing events for major companies and universities.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest sports business accomplishment so far is being a part of this program.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to gain additional knowledge of the industry and develop my sports business skills to apply for jobs and internships in the field.
Favorite city or country you have visited? New York
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? My favorite hobby is thrift shopping. Fun Fact, I hosted a gospel radio show.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I attended Francis Marion University, Mass Communications Major. I currently reside in Orangeburg, SC.
What made you want to get into the sports industry? Growing up I always had an interest and passion for sports that I got from my dad so I decided that I might as well try and get involved in something that I loved already.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite sports teams? My favorite sport is baseball and my favorite sports teams are the Indians, Cavaliers, Browns, and Buckeyes.
What job would you like to have in 5 years? I would like to be working for a baseball team in a front office capacity.
What is your dream job? What’s your next job? My dream job is to work in the front office for the Cleveland Indians.
What is a unique trait that you bring to our team? A unique trait that I bring to the team is that I am very curious and always looking to learn new things and how they work.
What is your biggest sport business accomplishment so far? My biggest sports business accomplishment so far was when I got an offer to work as an operations assistant for PGA of America during the Senior PGA championship which I will be doing right before this trip.
What do you hope to gain through the International Sport Business Program? I hope to gain experience working an international sports event while simultaneously meeting people that are trying to achieve similar things as me.
Favorite city or country you have visited? My favorite place that I have visited is Israel.
What’s a hobby, a fun fact about you, or hidden talent you may have? A fun fact about me is that I love to cook.
What college do/did you attend? What was your Major? What city do you reside in currently? I originally went to Ohio University but transferred to Ohio State after my freshman year. I currently reside in Beachwood, Ohio which is a suburb of Cleveland.
WHAT DAY and TIME IS IT in london?
Date and time notation in the United Kingdom records the date using the day-month-year format (20 May 2019 or 20/05/19). The time can either be written using the 12-hour clock (4:10 pm), or the 24-hour clock notation (16:10), the latter format most common within industries such as rail and bus transport, the police, and the military.
Not sure how to convert time from 12-hour to 24-hour? There is an easy solution: Simply minus two from the hour, and then drop the first number.
For example, 18:30 (24-hour clock) = 18 - 2 = 16, drop the first number and we're left with 6:00. Therefore, 18:30 is 6:30 on a 12-hour clock! It gets slightly more tricky when the 24-hour clock gets to 22:00, because 22 - 2 = 20. But now you simply replace the leading 2 with a 1. Therefore, 22:00 = 10:00. Telling AM vs PM is easy: if the time is greater than or equal to 12, it's PM. Less than 12, it's AM.
The difference in time between New York (EST) and London (BST - Brittish Summer Time) is 5 hours with London ahead of New York. When it it 9:00AM in New York, it is 2:00PM (or as we just learned 14:00) in London.
AMERICA at the london olympics in 2012:
While visiting the Olympic grounds in London, our group will learn much about the games and what it takes a city to host the Olympic Games. Let’s refresh ourselves on the American history of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The United States of America, represented by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, from July 27 to August 12, 2012. U.S. athletes have competed at every Summer Olympic Games in the modern era, except the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow which they boycotted. The USOC sent a total of 530 athletes to the 2012 Games, 261 men and 269 women, to compete in 25 sports. For the first time in its Olympic history, the United States was represented by more female than male athletes.
U.S. athletes left London with a total of 103 medals (46 gold, 28 silver and 29 bronze), finishing at the top of the gold and overall medal standings. The 46-gold medal record was the most the United States had ever won in any Olympics in which it was not the host nation. At least one medal was awarded to U.S. athletes in sixteen sports, thirteen of which contained at least one gold. U.S. athletes dominated the nations' medal standings in swimming, wherein they won a total of 31 medals, including 16 golds. Twenty-seven U.S. athletes won more than a single medal. The U.S. team-based athletes also proved particularly successful, as the women's soccer, water polo, and volleyball teams won gold and silver medals, respectively. Furthermore, the men's and women's basketball teams managed to defend their titles from Beijing. For the first time since 1936, no U.S. athlete won an Olympic medal in sailing.
Among the nation's medalists were swimmers Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt and Ryan Lochte, who each won a total of five medals. Swimmer Nathan Adrian and platform diver David Boudia won gold medals in their respective individual events after 24-year-long non-successes. Meanwhile, tennis player Serena Williams followed her sister's success by winning the gold medal in the women's tennis singles event. Gymnast Gabby Douglas became the fourth U.S. female to win a gold medal in the individual all-around event. Allyson Felix became the most successful U.S. track-and-field athlete at the event, winning three gold medals. Swimmer Michael Phelps emerged as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, with a total of 22 medals won (including four gold and two silver medals in London) – 18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals – surpassing Larisa Latynina's overall Olympic medal count.
Our group will spend quite some time in the Windsor area, working the Royal Windsor Triathlon. The royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an important historical event we should be knowledgeable on, took place in Windsor on May 19, 2018. Below you’ll find a great article released prior to the wedding that will help you learn more about the Windsor Castle and the impact of being the destination host of the royal wedding.
“It’s history. It’s legitimacy,” according to a local Windsor historian. “Right back to the earliest kings, they met at this place.”
WINDSOR, England (May 12, 2018) — Royal insiders and historians nodded their heads knowingly when the venue Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 wedding was announced. After all, the fairy tale-like Windsor Castle is said to be Queen Elizabeth II's favorite home.
But it is much more than that, according to David Lewis, a historian who has lived in the town of Windsor for 30 years.
“It’s history. It’s legitimacy,” he said as he took a break from walking his dog near the gates of the castle on a recent morning. “Right back to the earliest kings, they met at this place.”
Windsor Castle, considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture.Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
The imposing fortress and longest-occupied European palace some 25 miles west of London has been the home of British sovereigns for over 900 years.
The castle's grand spaces are lined with masterpieces by artists like Rubens and Rembrandt, portraits of past kings and queens, crystal chandeliers, gold ceiling moldings and knights in armor standing guard. It is still used for important ceremonial events and state visits.
The castle has an added significance for the royal family, which adopted its name in 1917 when it became the House of Windsor.
The name change came during World War I when the royal family’s Germanic name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, fell out of favor. The German air raids over London — with bombers dubbed “Gothas” — were the final straw and King George V issued a proclamation declaring that the family would henceforth be known as the House of Windsor.
Queen Elizabeth has spent time in the castle since she was a child, and during World War II she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were evacuated to escape the Nazi bombing of London. According to royal experts, the queen prefers the country retreat to her palace in the capital.
“Buckingham Palace is the office ... Windsor is her home,” said Amanda Bryett, Director of Windsor Tourist Guides. "This is where she grew up."
The queen spends weekends in Windsor from October until July, when she goes to Scotland's Balmoral Castle. The royal standard flies when the queen is in residence, letting everyone knows she’s home.
“This is really where she can relax,” said Bryett, who has lived in Windsor since the 1980s and said she often sees the queen driving her green Jaguar through Windsor's park on her way to church.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with Princesses Margaret, left, and Elizabeth at the Welsh House, a miniature cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in 1931.Lisa Sheridan / Getty Images
“She goes horse riding in the park, she walks her dogs in the park,” said Bryett marveling at the fact that, at 92, the monarch is still so active. “She was out last week.”
Even though she lived through the war there, the queen was reportedly surprised to learn, when it was revealed to her during a BBC documentary this year, that the crown jewels had actually been hidden in a cookie jar at the castle during World War II.
Windsor Castle really is “her majesty the queen's favorite home,” said Andrew Roberts, a British historian and royal commentator for NBC News. “So it's very fitting that Meghan and Harry should have chosen somewhere that matters so much to his grandmother to have their wedding.”
The actual ceremony will take place in St. George’s Chapel. King Edward IV set in motion the building of the chapel in 1475 and it was completed 50 years later by King Henry VIII.
With its fan-vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows, it is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. It is also the chapel of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s most prestigious order of chivalry.
The intimate choir area is lined with colorful banners, with heraldic family crests, symbols and animals, hanging above the area where the couple will exchange vows.
The chapel is also the burial place of King Charles I, King Henry VIII and King George III — who was forced to give up Britain's American colonies in 1783 after the Revolutionary War.
“There's something of an irony, of course, in that King George III is buried only a few yards away from where Meghan is going to be taking her vows,” said Roberts. “And so the last king of America is actually going to see an American joining his family.”
After the wedding ceremony, the couple will take a carriage procession through the town of Windsor, which is expected to be jammed with 100,000 spectators. Millions more are expected to follow on TV and online, with as many as 79 international broadcasters covering the event, according to royal officials.
The carriage procession will pass by Frogmore House, where Prince Charles will host a private reception for 200 guests the night of the wedding, and return to the castle along the tree-lined Long Walk.
Frogmore itself has American as well as royal connections. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, whose relationship changed the course of the British monarchy, are buried on the grounds. The Duke — the former King Edward the VIII — abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, who later became the duchess; his younger brother, the current queen's father, became King George VI.
Windsor’s 30,000 residents are bracing themselves for their day in the spotlight.
“I think people can see that Harry is besotted — so happy. And we are just thrilled they’ve chosen Windsor,” Bryett said, adding that the town expects a bump in tourism for years to come.
The Rev. Ainsley Swift has called Windsor home for the last 20 years as a Church of England rector. He’s not involved in the royal wedding ceremony, but since Windsor Parish Church, one of the churches he oversees is on street where Harry and Meghan’s horse-drawn carriage procession will pass, he’s one of many getting ready.
“The town has both of a spring in its step and a sense of, ‘Oh my goodness,’” Swift said. “This is bigger than any of us.”