Millennium Post

Picking the tab at Windsor

Picking the tab at Windsor
By any standard, this has, sans doubt, been a grand Royal wedding at Windsor but an expensive one too. True, it has been a time of love and celebration, pomp and circumstance. But everything came at some expense. The wedding between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle could easily cost over £1 million ($1.4 million). Security for the event and a ceremonial escort and procession by the British Armed Forces raised the bill significantly. Several estimates peg it at well over £ Eight million. So, eventually, who pays for all this? It is a sensitive issue in the United Kingdom because taxpayers will ultimately bear much of the cost, specifically for securing the wedding. Thames Valley Police were in charge of policing the event in Windsor, which means paying for the officers on duty. Security at the last royal wedding in 2011 between Prince William and Kate Middleton cost nearly £6.4 million, according to the Press Association. Happily, for taxpayers, security costs for this royal wedding are expected to be lower than the last because it was held outside London, which meant smaller crowds and less complicated logistics. Even if taxpayers end up contributing less this time, some Brits are unhappy with the arrangements. "Taxpayers should not be funding a private wedding, no matter who is getting married," said Republic, a London-based group that campaigns against the British monarchy. The UK government declined to comment on spending related to the royal wedding. The municipal government in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead also forked out £2.6 million ($3.5 million) to ensure the city was looking its best on the big day. A spokesperson said that councillors had been planning to make improvements in the coming year but brought the spending forward after Prince Harry and Meghan announced their engagement. Notes from the December council meeting when the spending was approved showed that just over £1 million ($1.4 million) of the £2.6 million was "funded from external sources." When it came to the direct wedding costs, the royal family picked the tab, as it did when William and Kate married. The family kept costs down by hosting the ceremony and receptions in and around Windsor Castle which is Royal property. "The Royals don't spend as much as everyone thinks they do," said a celebrity wedding planner who arranged events attended by Prince Harry. One cost the royal family might not have covered directly was Meghan's wedding dress. "Meghan has probably made a bit of money herself through her acting career. She probably paid for her dress herself. "Whether she did or did not is her business. But, as they say, all's well that ends well and the spontaneous smiles all around said it all. This was a wedding millions were glued on to and they loved it.
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