The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have finished their 2011 tour of Canada and moved on to Los Angeles. For our last royal-inspired feature, let's look at palaces and castles.
Finding the perfect location for formal weddings, corporate events and galas can be a challenge for event planners. Fortunately, many palaces and castles can be used as special event venues. Others have museums. For incentive travel, corporate teams can learn about the local history and culture during palace tours. Add a team trivia contest or scavenger hunt to transform any palace tour into one of your team events.
U.S. and Canada
There are many castles in the U.S. and Canada. Although they have never been official royal residences, they add a regal atmosphere for formal events.
- Iolani Palace
Built in 1882, Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. It was the residence Queen Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. It's available for galas, special and corporate events.
- Chateau de Versailles
On Sundays, the fountains are turned on and classical music plays as you stroll through the gardens.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Qasr al-Hosn
- The Grand Palace
I visited the Grand Palace on the Princess' birthday. There were celebrations with marching bands and foreign dignitaries.
The world's largest golden teakwood mansion was the residence of King Rama V from 1906-1910. While access for special events is rarely granted, some organizations have had garden parties on the grounds.
- Muzium Budaya
Learn about the history of Malaysia as you visit this fully furnished, full-scale replica of the Sultan of Malacca's 15th-century palace.
- Imperial Palace
When Kyoto was the capital of Japan, the Imperial Palace was the residence of the Emperor.
- Nijo-jo Castle
Built for the Tokugawa Shogunate around 1600, this national treasure was the residence of the Shogun. It's sometimes used for cultural and special events.