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article imageRoyal wedding could cost as much as $70 million – and counting

By Andrew John     Apr 29, 2011 in Entertainment
It’s emerged that Britain’s royal wedding will cost about $70 million. And the cost to companies, because the day has been declared a public holiday, is put at $6 billion.
“With UK facing a fiscal deficit of $256 billion this year, this extra $6 billion is a very dear loss for the nation,” says a report today in the New York-based Industry Leaders magazine.
The cost of the floral display alone is put at $800,000 by the magazine, with security costing about $33 million.
The wedding dress is estimated to have cost between $300,000 and $450,000, and the cake $78,000.
“While the above components comprise some of the most significant chunks of the total expenses associated with the royal wedding, other components like accommodation for guests, music, food, etc., will run up pretty long bills too,” says the report.
“Reportedly, the Queen and [heir to the throne] Prince Charles will pay for the $600,000 luncheon reception and dinner reception …”
Taxpayers, it says, will have shelled out $63,000 for cleaning the streets of Westminster the day before today’s event.
‘Pretty stupendous’
“What’s worse, the wedding falls smack bang in the middle of a string of other holidays,” says the magazine, “leaving only three working days between April 22 and May 2. As a result, many businesses are likely to stay shut through the entire 10-day period, a string of lost productivity that could remove $47 billion from economic output, according to an estimate by accounting firm RSM Tenon.”
Given Britain’s current economic situation, a $70 million bill for a wedding that will be attended by almost 2,000 guests “still seems pretty stupendous,” says Industry Leaders, adding that Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in June last year cost only around $5million.
Britain’s television outlets are full of the event today, with just about wall-to-wall coverage from the BBC.
Meanwhile, there are civil-liberties concerns after a number of arrests carried out by police in the days before the wedding.
As we report elsewhere today, a religious think tank has expressed concern about “raids on centres associated with activism and the apparently random arrest of people with radical lifestyles.”
And three people who were planning to stage mock executions as a protest at the royal wedding have been arrested by police.
An alternative to the wedding is being provided by that great sci-fi icon Doctor Who in London today, as Mathew Wace Peck reported earlier today.
“For those who are in London, but would rather be entertained by the capital’s Doctor Who Experience than the Royal Wedding, tickets will be on sale for Friday, 29 April, only, and subject to availability, for just £4.29,” he writes.
And the anti-royalist group Republic are providing a “Not the Royal Wedding” street party today, which will be attended by the UK human-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who this week launched a scathing attack on the British royal family.
Citing their reluctance to acknowledge those among them who are gay and their many gay friends, Australian-born Tatchell asked: “What’s the problem with this backward royal family?”
More about Royal Wedding, Prince William, duke of cambridge, catherine middleton, duchess of cambridge
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