Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding yesterday racked up a royal price tag: the event reportedly cost and estimated $45 million, CBS reported this morning.
Despite the steep total, that’s nothing compared to the price of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ ceremony in 1981, which cost $110 million (adjusted for inflation), according to CBS. However, Harry’s wedding cost more than Prince William’s, which totaled to about $34 million in 2011, according to CNBC.
Here’s what you need to know about the royal wedding budget.
Security was the most expensive factor
The biggest chunk of the bill didn’t go to the venue, dress, catering or decor—it went to keeping the celebrants, guests, and public safety. About $40 million went to security for the big day. (Compare that to the roughly $32 million of security William and Kate had for their big day at Westminster Abbey.)
Even though the ceremony didn’t take place in London’s crowded city center, thousands of members of the public were invited into Windsor Castle grounds for the special event, and about 100,000 spectators were estimated to gather in the town of Windsor.
Safety protocol likely included rooftop snipers, undercover police in the streets, a counter-UAV system (which deactivate intruder and paparazzi drones), and a “drone destroyer, ” according to UK wedding planning app, Bridebook.
The groom’s role in the military also influenced the need for security of at the wedding. “Harry is a particularly vulnerable target thanks to his time serving in the armed forces,” E!’s royal expert Melanie Bromley previously told BAZAAR.com.
The Independent also points out the higher cost may be due to “heightened threat levels in the U.K., following a spate of attacks over the past 18 months.”
Who paid for it?
It was initially announced that the royal family will be paying for the wedding, but their part of the bill would only cover “the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards,” the palace announced. Taxpayers are likely responsible for security costs, The Independent reports.
It’s possible the bride picked up the tab for her wedding gown, which was a custom design by Givenchy Haute Couture. “It wouldn’t surprise me if Meghan decides to foot some of the costs herself so she can have the dress of her dreams,” Bromley told BAZAAR.com. “She’s independently wealthy, and she’ll want a gown fit for a duchess.”
Celebrity wedding planner Mark Niemierko told CNN Money that the bride “will probably pay for her dress herself.”
The price of the dress remains unconfirmed, but it’ll likely be “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” according to Bromley. Though she’s expected to not upstage Kate Middleton’s wedding dress cost (rumored at $400,000), the number could still be high, since it’s Givenchy Haute Couture.
Luxury wedding planner Aimee Dunne estimated to CNBC that the food and beverage could be $680,000; the glass marquee for the reception could be $400,000; and the flowers could be $130,000.
Bridebook also predicts $470,000 for the venue, $22,000 for photography and videography, $67,000 for the cake, $27,000 for the stationery, $400,000 for music, $175,000 for decorations, $8,000 for wedding rings, $2,287 for bridesmaid and page boy outfits, $235 for St. George’s Chapel church fees, over $10,000 for the groom’s uniform, over $13,000 for hair and makeup, $74,000 for entertainment, over $4,000 for wedding favors, and over $160,000 for the honeymoon.
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