by Carla Fried

April 28, 2011

from MoneyWatch Website




It’s being billed as the wedding of the century, but Kate and William’s nuptials are not expected to be as lavish an affair as the one between Williams’s father and mother, Charles and Diana, in 1981.


Mindful of England’s high unemployment rate and fiscal austerity program, the royals have pledged to make this a slightly more subdued affair; the only food being served at the Queen’s luncheon reception will be canapés, for example.


And unlike some other recent weddings of note, the royal wedding will provide plenty of ancillary benefits to the bride and groom’s fellow Britons in the form of additional tourism, spending, and publicity (the cost of giving everyone the day off is another matter, however).

Here’s a list of some of the more interesting costs and benefits associated with Friday’s Royal Wedding (figures were calculated at an exchange rate of 1.65 U.S. dollars to the pound):


  • Estimated total cost of the Royal Wedding: $34 million

  • Estimated total cost of Charles and Diana’s wedding (today’s dollars): $110 million

  • Average cost of a U.S. wedding: $27,000


  • 2010 property income for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles: $50 million

  • Cost of Kate’s wedding gown: $434,000

  • Average amount spent on a wedding gown in the U.S.: $1,099

  • Cost of two wedding cakes: $80,000

  • Average amount spent on a wedding cake in the U.S.: $540


  • Number of guests for the Queen’s luncheon reception: 600

  • Number of guests for Prince Charles’s dinner reception: 300

  • Cost per bottle of wine to be served at the luncheon reception: $14 to $23

  • Cost per bottle of champagne to be served before the dinner reception: $50

  • Maximum number of bites the luncheon canapés are designed to be eaten in: 2


  • Amount spent by British soccer star Wayne Rooney on his 2008 wedding: $8 million

  • Amount spent by Bill and Hillary Clinton on Chelsea’s 2010 wedding: $3 million to $5 million


  • Cost of security for Will and Kate’s wedding (to be paid by taxpayers): $33 million

  • Cost of security for Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding (today’s dollars): $20 million

  • Cost of security for the G20 conference in London in 2009: $12 million


  • Number of additional tourists expected in London for the Royal Wedding: 600,000

  • Amount those tourists are expected to spend on April 29: $82 million

  • Total tourism revenue expected from the Royal Wedding in 2011$825 million+


  • Cost of the “Royal Wedding Tour” at Westminster Abbey: $26

  • Cost of a life-sized cardboard cutout of William and Kate: $58.50

  • Cost of 2 William and Kate tea bags: $8

  • Winning auction bid for a pair of William and Kate Pez dispensers: $13,360


  • Global audience expected to watch the wedding on TV: 2 billion

  • Additional audience expected to watch online and listen on radio: 400 million


  • Estimated economic output lost by making the Royal Wedding a national holiday: $10 billion

  • Estimated economic output lost by Britons taking extra days off between Easter and the Royal Wedding and getting an 11-day holiday $50 billion

  • U.K. unemployment rate: 7.8%

  • Size of the U.K. budget deficit: 10% of GDP