Another Royal Wedding may Boost the UK’s Economy

Another royal wedding is on its way! If you have not heard by now, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on November 27, 2017. [1] Reports have stated that the happy couple will wed spring of 2018. The last British royal wedding was in 2011 when Prince William married Kate Middleton. Six years has passed and the world is now anticipating the next royal wedding unfold.

Prince Henry of Wales is the son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He is currently fifth in line for the throne after his father, his older brother (William), and his nephew (George), and niece (Charlotte). [2]

Meghan Markle is an “American actress, model, and humanitarian.” She is best known for her role as Rachel Zane on Suits, a legal drama series. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Meghan and Prince Harry undoubtedly grew up from different worlds. Following their announced engagement, Meghan “plans to retire from acting and devote her time to humanitarian causes.” [3]

Prince Harry and Meghan met from a mutual friend who had set them up on a blind date in the summer of 2016. [4] They then went on to date for the past year and a few months. Because they tried to keep their relationship private from the media as much as possible, they spent most of their time in the Nottingham Cottage in the Kensington Palace while in the UK. [5]

The news of a royal wedding not only brings about an increase in media coverage on the royal family, but also the many activities needed to be done before the actual wedding. Such activities include searching for the perfect dress, finding the venue, and creating the guest list. Such an extravaganza comes at a hefty price. We can see from Prince William and Kate’s wedding that a reported $34 million was spent. The majority of the cost ($32 million) was directed to security, while Kate’s dress totaled a grand $434,000. [6]

To show the grand scheme of how much a royal wedding costs, Brides Magazine, the UK’s NO. 1 Bridal Magazine, found that the average cost for a UK wedding is $40,567. [7] This cost includes everything ranging from the invitations to the photographer. This number is drastically smaller compared to William and Kate’s $34 million.

Along with the costs to finance the big day, a royal wedding also signifies a change in business and ultimately an increase in the economy. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding can be seen as a sign to predict the effects of a royal wedding on the UK’s economy. Kate’s wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton, was heavily detailed with lace. It is no doubt that Kate’s strong influence impacted the trend for lace in wedding gowns and everyday fashion. This is shown in how the fashion house Alexander McQueen that created Kate’s gown saw an increased growth in operating profit by 33% in 2011, compared to the year prior. [8]

Other forms of revenue that could potentially boost the UK economy include retail spending, tourism, and pub sales. It was reported that these related facets generated between 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion U.S. dollars. Many businesses took advantage of the royal wedding by producing and selling souvenirs, such as, “Keep Calm and Marry On” posters, and “Kiss Me Kate” beer. [9] Thus, the revenue brought about from Prince William and Kate’s wedding is a sign that Prince Harry and Meghan may have similar effects on the economy.

The time period of when Meghan and Prince Harry announced their wedding date is also around the same time that Prince William and Kate’s expected third child will be due in April 2018. Not only will the royal wedding be a worldwide spectacle, but so will the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child. Thus, the wedding and the expected child will attract even more attention to the Royal family.

On Friday, April 29, 2011, William and Kate received a bank holiday on their wedding. This day is a holiday in which british citizens are given the day off from work. A study conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) showed that the average cost of a bank holiday in the UK was $2.7 billion. [10] However, because Prince Harry is fifth in line, Theresa May stated that there will not be a bank holiday. Therefore, the UK economy will not witness a loss in revenue when Meghan and Prince Harry wed from businesses not being open.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, believes that the United States will have greater interest in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding then when Kate wed Prince William in 2011 because Meghan is American. [11] Meghan’s international recognition for her acting and humanitarian work can easily boost the number of visitors from the United States to the UK. Subsequently, the royal wedding will bring many international visitors to witness the coming days of the ceremony. Therefore, the increased tourism will greatly impact the UK’s economy in a positive manner.

Although I do not know much about the royal family, I find it fascinating to see how such an intimate moment in a couple’s relationship is shown for the whole world to see.  The announcement of a royal wedding signifies not only a growth in revenue for UK’s economy, but also an enhanced image of the British monarchy. It seems as though people from all over are curious to see how the wedding will turn out, shown in how there was more than 24 million viewers watching the live coverage of Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding. [12] It will be interesting to see as Spring 2018 slowly approaches the impact the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have on the world.
















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