Prince William and Kate's royal wedding in April 2011 is thought to have been the most expensive royal nuptials ever, with a total price tag of £26 million ($34 million). But will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in spring 2018 cost nearly as much?
A breakdown of the bill for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding showed that £24 million went on security and around £458,000 on flowers. With the Queen and various world dignitaries inevitably attending, the security costs would likely still be high, and inflation has averaged 2.3% a year since the last royal wedding, but other aspects of the event look likely to be different.
Will and Kate got married at Westminster Abbey, the same venue as the Queen and Prince Philip. But signs are already pointing towards Harry and Meghan getting married at a different venue to celebrate a more modern romance and a more private approach.
Wedding planning website and app Bridebrook recently told IBTimes UK: "Alternatives would be the much larger St. Paul's Cathedral – where Charles and Diana wed – or the much smaller St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles's wedding was dedicated following a civil ceremony."
Prince Harry will wear his military uniform as is the tradition for royal grooms, but the cost of Meghan's bridal dress could be range from any figure - Kate's cost £250,000, which is thought to be the fifth most expensive dress of all time.
Whatever the cost, however, taxpayers need not worry about footing the bill for everything. For Will and Kate's wedding, the Treasury paid for the costs of security and transport, plus cleaning up the streets afterwards. Everything else, from the flowers to the church service to the reception, was paid for by the Royal family and the Middletons. Various reports have suggested the total cost to the taxpayer was anything between £10 million and £20 million - but the economy is likely to have benefited as well.
One month after Will and Kate's wedding, investment manager Thomas White International concluded it had been a mixed bag for the UK economy. Various estimates of the total wedding-related revenue ranged from £1 billion to £2 billion from extra retail spending, tourism and pub sales. Commemorative merchandise alone may have earned the country £0.5 billion.
But this was offset, especially for small businesses, by a loss of productivity caused by the extra bank holiday, which fell between Easter and the May Day bank holiday, on the Friday after Good Friday. It is still unclear whether Prince Harry's wedding date will also be declared a bank holiday by Theresa May. Shortly after the engagement announcement, the Prime Minister's spokesperson told BuzzFeed: "I haven't discussed that with her." Watch this space, as the bank holiday would likely be announced several months in advance of the wedding.