Prince William and Kate Middleton: Throwing Britain’s Money Around

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Taras Berezowsky, regular contributor to our sister site MetalMiner.

My fiancé and I are tying the knot this summer in a relatively modest fashion. While we both would've fancied a camping getaway for a handful of family members and close friends, with a Spirit of the Woods (or some manifestation thereof) officiating the ceremony as we'd skip around barefoot, building a bonfire and eating over rough-hewn wooden picnic tables, that simply wasn't feasible. The sheer number of people that we realized we had to invite, coupled with accommodating our elderly grandmothers, forced us to opt for a theme of "rustic elegance," complete with church ceremony and reception at an old auto baron's mansion on a lake outside Detroit. Needless to say, our spend for the wedding as currently planned will be considerably more than the one envisioned in the woods.

While this is the most important wedding in the world to the two of us, others would vehemently disagree and point to the circus that's about to go down on April 29th across the Atlantic. And while ours seems like the most expensive wedding ever, it won't even hold a candle to the dent in the UK's pocketbook that Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials will create.

A short hit in Fortune magazine outlined just how costly the royal wedding is projected to be. Although the event is expected to inject $48 million to $80 million into the local economy, the wedding will cost the entire country approximately $9.6 billion in lost productivity. That figure is how much is lost on a normal bank holiday in Britain, according to the article, which PM David Cameron decreed this event to be. (Undoubtedly, there will be much more carousing and much less working on that weekend than a normal bank holiday -- Middleton, for one, will certainly be celebrating her own "bank holiday," to be sure...) With the UK population at 61.14 million as of last year, that works out to be 157 bucks of lost productivity per person! Security for the wedding weekend is estimated to cost $8 million, and that doesn't even include secret service units such as MI5. The wedding will take roughly 28 days to clean up, four weeks before and two days after. Lastly, Fortune estimates that more than 600,000 people will be in town just for the event, which is more than double the average number of visitors to London on any given day.

Efficient? Probably not. Massive? You bet. The virtual shutdown of the city for the "Prince William and Kate Plus 8 (million dollars, for security) Extravaganza" certainly takes wedding spending to the extreme. My fiancée and I are close to needing some spend management software to keep our upcoming wedding bills under control, but for the royals? Just put it on their tab.

-- Taras Berezowsky, MetalMiner

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