The average American wedding costs a staggering . As for a royal wedding, multiply that 20 times and you'll come close. will cost at least, luxury event planner Aimee Dunne told .
While the bride's parents traditionally foot the bill for the ceremony, don't expect to receive an invoice from the palace.
"As was the case with the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Royal Family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards," Kensington Palace announced in a following the engagement.
Prince Charles earns an annually, so he's perfectly equipped to fund a . The Prince of Wales's money comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate that has funded the heir to the throne since 1337. As any generous dad would do, Prince Charles in turn uses this taxed income to pay for Prince William, Kate Middleton, and , and likely Meghan Markle's too once she become a part of the fold.
Prince Charles will likely foot the bill for some of the most expensive parts of the wedding, such as flowers, lighting, and catering. Even though the couple to use greenery from the Crown Estate, the costs of arranging and transporting the bouquets (and, in Kate's case!) doesn't disappear.
The sheer exposure that comes with such high-profile affair means the couple could receive some other elements at low or nonexistent fees though. That may include the lemon-elderflower cake from Violet bakery and drinks from companies holding a royal warrant.
“They shouldn’t be paying a penny for Champagne as it’s one of the things that always gets reported by the press,” a marketing executive told the . “They might have to pay for the wine.”
Other elements, like the carriage ride and use of St George's Chapel and , likely come gratis from the Queen. (Thank you, Granny!) Meghan Markle may decide to spend big on one element, though: .
"My sources tell me that Meghan wants to make a contribution to the wedding," said Katie Nicholl, author of the biography . "She’s a feminist and a wealthy and independent woman and the fact is that pretty much all of the wedding costs are being picked up by the royal family."
This decision falls in line with Kate Middleton's nuptials as well. The Duchess of Cambridge and her parents reportedly paid for , but it's possible they received the designer gown at a hefty discount. Meghan will probably get the same treatment; the exposure alone is a form of payment.
The biggest cost of the wedding, however, falls to the British taxpayers. Security will require tens of millions of dollars outside of the general budget. An amazing turned up for Prince William's wedding, and experts estimate the event costed about in policing expenditures, with most of it going towards overtime pay. Planned measures for Prince Harry's nuptials include airport-style scanners, search dogs, and snipers.
While the fee seems huge and , the royal family arguably pays for itself in the end. This wedding alone is expected to generate for the British economy thanks to tourism and increased spending, predicts. That's a pretty solid return on investment no matter how you slice it.