While royal insiders begin ponder what to get Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in anticipation to their May 19th nuptials, it turns out their history-making wedding will be a gigantic gift to Britain.
According to Britain’s Office of National Statistics, Harry and Meghan’s wedding of could generate a substantial boost to Britain’s economy by about £500 million—or $680 million in U.S. dollars.
The wedding is expected to draw thousands of tourists and visitors to Windsor and the surrounding areas for the big day in addition to spurring on massive spending in around the country, just as it did when Prince William married Kate Middleton.
In 2011, according to Reuters, William and Kate’s wedding attracted about 350,000 visitors to the U.K. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s could also contribute to the excitement again this go round as their third child is due in April just weeks before the ceremony.
Hotel rooms in Windsor are nearly sold out for the weekend of May 19. The wedding will be celebrated at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Brits have always been huge fans of kitschy, commemorative wedding-related items and souvenirs from mugs to masks to tea towels emblazoned with royal couples’ images. There is already a brisk market for Harry and Meghan memorabilia which includes papers dolls and a life size cut-out of the couple available on Amazon for $66.90.
According to the Telegraph, an estimated £222 million—about $303 million—was spent on memorabilia leading up to William and Kate’s wedding.
The cost of their wedding reportedly totaled nearly $34 million – with $32 million covering the cost of security.
Since Harry and Meghan’s wedding will not be a state occasion like the Cambridge’s and is being held outside of central London, the cost, estimated at around $1 million for the reception and related expenses, will be substantially less. That must be good news for the British royals since it’s been reported they’re footing the bill. (Kate’s family chipped in for her wedding.) Added security would send the total cost of the event sky-rocketing into the millions. Based on the enthusiasm for the newly engaged couple in the UK and abroad, it’s unlikely their wedding will be anything close to an understated event. It will be televised worldwide.
Regardless of the final costs, the benefits of this historic wedding will no doubt be seen to far outweigh the costs. Thanks Harry and his American fianceé, the revitalization of the British royal “brand” is a priceless asset whose value can’t be measured in dollars and cents.
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