Harry and Meghan mark wedding anniversary – how much did their big day cost the taxpayer?

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in 2018 in a stunning ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle which was watched by millions throughout the UK and across the world. A lot has changed for the couple and the Royal Family since that day, with the couple escaping royal life and moving across the Atlantic with their son, Archie.

Just 18 months after exchanging their vows, the Sussexes packed up to North America with their son Archie to begin a new life.

Prince Harry has only returned once – for the funeral of Prince Philip in April.

The couple are thought to be celebrating the milestone at their California home.

The Sussexes, who are expecting their second child – a daughter – in the summer after a miscarriage last year, started a new life in Montecito, California.

How much did the wedding cost?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding is thought to have racked up a £32 million bill, with about £30 million going on security costs alone.

The taxpayer paid for the huge security bill, whereas the Royal Family paid for the more personal aspects of the couple’s wedding, such as flowers and reception costs.

Kensington Palace said at the time: “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.”

Meghan wore a bespoke gown designed by Givenchy’s creative director, Clare Waight Keller, which totalled an estimated £390,000.

Her 16ft veil was embroidered with the national flowers of each of the 53 commonwealth countries.

Some 600 guests were present at the wedding, with a further 200 invited to the evening reception.

On top of guests, 1,200 members of the public were allowed in to the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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The Duchess caused controversy earlier this year when she claimed the couple did not actually marry on the day of the public wedding but a few days before.

During her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey Meghan said the pair had the secret marriage ceremony with the archbishop, Justin Welby, in their “backyard”.

The duchess said nobody knew the couple had shared personal vows for “just the two of us” ahead of their wedding day.

During the interview, Meghan said: “You know, three days before our wedding we got married.

“No one knows that, but we called the archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle, is for the world, but we want our union between us.’”

The archbishop responded to her claims, saying: “If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential.

“It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to. I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the duke and duchess before the wedding.

“The legal wedding was on the Saturday. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document.

“I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.”

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