Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 2018 wedding is one of the most anticipated pop culture events of the year — and it’s also anticipated to be a very expensive and profitable event for the British economy.
The wedding is expected to bring a large boost to earnings from tourism and merchandise sales, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of tourists that will likely come to witness the event. In 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding attracted about 350,000 visitors, Vanity Fair reported, and it’s expected that tourists will flock to Britain for the next royal wedding as well.
Click through to learn surprising facts about the British royal family’s money and how the royal wedding will give England’s economy a boost.
Tourism Earnings From Royal Wedding: $620 Million
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will likely cost millions of dollars, but it’s expected to bring in $620 million in tourism — not including merchandise sales — the consulting firm Brand Finance estimated. That’s on top of the $757 million the royal family typically brings in from tourism in a given year.
Read more to see all the ways Britain’s tourism industry can make money off the royal wedding.
1. 5-Figure Per Night Hotel Rooms
If you want to enjoy the wedding like a royal, you’ll need to vacation at lodgings like a royal.
The Harte and Garter Hotel, located across the street from Windsor Castle, is already sold out for the royal wedding weekend, but Hello! magazine reported that rooms were going for $14,183 during the wedding weekend dates, with a minimum three-night stay. The magazine also reported that suites at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, which has highly desirable views of High Street, cost $17,750 per night.
2. ‘Harry & Meghan’ Tour
Tour company British Tours created “Kate and William tours” that take guests to pivotal spots in the couple’s relationship. And now that Markle is joining the list of people who became royalty thanks to marriage, they are currently putting together potential itineraries for a Prince Harry and Meghan Markle-themed tour, The New York Times reported.
The tours could include stops at the upscale nightclubs Harry frequented, one tour guide told the newspaper.
3. VIP Views of the Wedding
Luxury travel company Noteworthy has already secured a spot with a view over Windsor Castle’s Henry VIII Gate so discerning tourists can get a one-of-a-kind view of the ceremony — as long as they are willing to pay the right price for VIP standards. The managing director of Noteworthy, Nicola Butler, told The New York Times that their viewing area is “a space that a high-net-worth individual from the U.S. would be comfortable in.”
For Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, Noteworthy charged 80 visitors $689 each to watch the wedding from a space opposite Westminster Abbey.
4. A Limited Edition Restaurant ‘Wedding Menu’
London’s The Tea Terrace will be taking advantage of what might be one of the most expensive royal weddings in history as they will be serving a limited-edition “Harry and Meghan wedding menu” from May 1-21, 2018, Good Housekeeping reported. Co-owners Ehab and Rowena Shouly said the menu will “reflect the couple’s own tastes as well as the now well-known story of their romance,” and will include some of Harry and Markle’s rumored favorite dishes.
Diners can choose from three main courses: seswaa, a traditional meat dish from Botswana, which is where Harry sourced the main stone for Markle’s engagement ring; turkey meatloaf, a food that American-born Markle has said reminds of her home; and roast chicken, which is the meal Harry was cooking when he popped the question.
The menu will also include poutine, which is a dish from Canada where Markle filmed “Suits” and spent time with Harry. Nicoise salad, a rumored favorite of Markle’s, also will be on the menu along with two dessert options: Botswana malva pudding and banana loaf, which is the rumored wedding cake flavor.
5. Royal Wedding Tourist Attractions
Harry and Markle’s wedding will no doubt attract tourists to visit the sites that played a prominent role in the couple’s relationship and upcoming marriage.
Harry proposed to Markle at their Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, and anyone who wants to visit the Kensington Palace grounds can do so for $19.83. The wedding will take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, which offers a standard adult admission ticket for $29.19.
Merchandise Sales From Royal Wedding: $69 Million
Brand Finance estimated that of the 500 million pounds the royal wedding will bring in in tourism revenue, one-tenth would be from merchandise sales — which amounts to $69 million.
From mugs to platters to refrigerator magnets, find out how British businesses will be profiting from wedding merchandise sales.
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1. Commemorative Mugs and Tea Towels
British ceramics manufacturer Emma Bridgewater is planning to create a commemorative mug and tea towel in honor of the royal wedding, The New York Times reported.
Bridgewater manufactured just under 1,000 mugs priced at $27 each commemorating Harry and Markle’s engagement in the week following the announcement, and they sold out within 24 hours, the newspaper reported. The company sold over 35,000 pieces of pottery tied to William and Middleton’s wedding, so if the past is any indication, this wedding will also be a big seller.
2. High-End Trays and Plates
Porcelain manufacturer Royal Crown Derby has been creating royal family commemorative products for centuries. The company began planning its wedding-themed merchandise months before the engagement was even announced, The New York Times reported.
Among the products it plans on having for sale tied to the wedding are a heart-shaped tray that will sell for $103 and an octagonal plate finished in gold that will sell for $207, according to the Times.
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3. Key Rings and Refrigerator Magnets
Queen Elizabeth II’s own Sandringham Estate is getting in on the wedding merchandise craze: The Estate’s gift shop is selling a range of Harry and Markle merchandise, including mugs, gold-plated spoons, key rings and refrigerator magnets. The magnets, which sell for $2.74 each, are among the best sellers, Metro U.K. reported.
Total Earnings From Royal Wedding: $689 Million
The wedding between Harry and Markle is expected to bring an additional $689 million to Britain’s economy with earnings from hotels, tourist attractions and merchandise. And that number is a conservative estimate if William and Middleton’s wedding was any indication.
The last royal wedding was originally estimated to attract a total of 4 million visitors over the long-term, earning Britain an additional $2.75 billion over the years, according to The Guardian. And accountancy firm PwC estimated that the influx of wedding watchers for William and Middleton’s wedding brought an immediate $147 million boost to the city of London thanks to the sales of hotel rooms, extra sales in shops and more restaurant diners, The Guardian reported.
Click through if you’re thinking about the honeymoon and want to find out how much it costs to travel like the royal family.