Americans Visiting London Want This Royal to Play Tour Guide

There's only one reason to visit London

Queen Elizabeth II looks out of the window of her carriage as ahe arrives for the state opening of Parliament November 23, 2004 in London. In her speech, probably the last before the next general election, The Queen outlined 32 Bills for the forthcoming parliament with many focusing on law and order and terrorism.
Queen Elizabeth II, the ultimate tour guide. (Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

London might boast a whole slew of tourist attractions, but most visitors have a single interest—spotting a royal in their natural habitat. A new survey by London & Partners, the mayor of London’s promotional company, shows that while visitors might stop by the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty show and peek at the Tower of London, what they’re truly interested in is seeing the Queen’s tiara up close. A photo of a favorite Warhol inside the Tate Modern might be exciting on Instagram, but a selfie with Prince Harry, or perhaps an engagement ring from him, would make a far better story. Still, Prince Harry and Prince William aren’t what the Americans come to London to see—it’s Queen Elizabeth.

A true tourist re-enacts a scene from Harry Potter at Kings Cross station on January 2, 2013 in London, England. Rail fares have today risen by an average of 4.2% in England, Scotland and Wales, the tenth year in a row that fares have increased above inflation.
A true tourist at Kings Cross station. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Since the 2012 Olympic games, 7.9 million Americans have vacationed in London. The major pop culture spots are still popular destinations. There’s the King’s Cross station, where Harry Potter admirers gather and attempt to ride to Hogwarts. Anything Notting Hill related has romantic comedy fans snapping pictures outside, imagining that Hugh Grant will suddenly walk by for the perfect meet-cute. But the true bucket list event is visiting Buckingham Palace.

The royal family.
The royal family. (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The tourists surveyed said they’d like to have Adele, James Corden, Mr. Bean or David Beckham as a travel guide, but Her Majesty the Queen was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular choice, coming in at number one. “Another member of the Royal Family” was voted for tenth place, proving that the Queen is still more popular than her family, despite the fact that Prince George would make an excellent travel companion. Americans Visiting London Want This Royal to Play Tour Guide