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Royal wedding: by the numbers

Weighing in at $65 million, the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is about 2,000 times as costly as the average British upper-middle class wedding.

By Staff writer / April 28, 2011

The Queen's Guard march out of Buckingham Palace, in London on April 28. Britain's Prince William will marry his fiancee Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey on April 29.

Kieran Doherty/Reuters



"They do not love that do not show their love," as the Bard wrote, and for the young couple Prince William and Catherine Middleton, that includes showing the world a $65 million royal wedding.

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That figure designates $35 million for public services, security, police, and cleanup, and at least $20 million for most everything else, from rehearsals to stag parties, food, and drink, to the still closely-guarded secret of the honeymoon.

By contrast, the average British upper-middle class couple getting married spends an estimated $30,000 on clothes, cake, reception, travel, rings, and maybe a rented band. Donald Trump’s wedding to Melania Knauss in 2005 was $1 million, while Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes spent $2 million on their Italian wedding in 2006 at Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano.

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So where's all the money coming from for the royal wedding tomorrow?

Prince William's grandmother, the Queen, and his father, Prince Charles, are said to be paying $45 million toward the wedding.

Ms. Middleton’s family will contribute a six-figure sum, according to Vanity Fair, which media boiled down to about $160,000. This includes $47,000 for the wedding dress, $31,000 for bridesmaid’s dresses, and a pre-wedding family suite at Belgravia’s Goring hotel for $6,275 a night, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail.

There was some savings: The $375,000 diamond and sapphire engagement ring the prince gave his bride-to-be, belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.

Indeed, Will and Kate have scaled back substantially on the costs and ostentation from the 1981 wedding of Princes Charles and Lady Diana. The traditional wedding breakfast will not be a served as a meal but a finger food buffet, for example.


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