How much Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cost taxpayers compared to other royals

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding has gone down in history as one of the most famous, and crowds gathered outside St George’s Chapel in Windsor to catch a glimpse of the happy couple on their big day. After their whirlwind wedding, Harry and Meghan worked as full-time royals and soon welcomed their first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. But the couple decided to step down from royal duties in 2020 and move to the US, prompting some calls for the couple to pay back the costs to the taxpayer associated with their high-profile 2018 wedding.

How much did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding cost the taxpayer?

Figures vary, but estimates have indicated that Harry and Meghan’s wedding cost £32million overall.

Aside from security costs, much of the wedding itself was paid for by the Royal Family.

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.”

The Royal Family receives funding in the form of the Sovereign Grant, which is paid by the Treasury, but there are also private streams of money like the Duchy of Lancaster which the Queen has access as monarch. The Duchy of Cornwall also provides an income to Prince Charles as the heir to the throne.

Meghan was thought to have paid for her own custom Givenchy wedding gown with an estimated cost of £110,000.

Security for the event was thought to have cost the taxpayers between £3.4million, according to the Guardian.

Thames Valley’s police and crime commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld, told the BBC that the estimated cost of police presence at the wedding was “between £2million and £4million”.

The cost was absorbed by the Thames Valley Police service, but police forces can apply for special grants from the Home Office for events of this scale.

How much did other royal weddings cost the taxpayer?

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding was thought to have cost some £30million, but not all of this was footed by the taxpayer.

Like with Harry and Meghan’s wedding, core aspects of the wedding like the reception and flowers were paid for by the Royal Family, but the security costs associated with it fell to the public purse.

Security for royal weddings comes under the remit of local police forces, which are ultimately funded by the taxpayer.

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The security costs for Kate and William’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in London are thought to have exceeded those of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding seven years later.

Press Association analysis showed that the security at William and Kate’s wedding cost £6.35million, of which £3million was thought to have been spent on police overtime costs alone.

Some news outlets estimated that Princess Eugenie’s Windsor wedding at St George’s Chapel in October 2018 racked up security costs of some £2million.

As Princess Eugenie is not a working member of the Royal Family, many MPs and activists were unhappy with the taxpayer having to foot the bill for security at the nuptials.

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