How much will the royal wedding cost?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are set to marry next weekend, pictured here at the 2017 Invictu

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are set to marry next weekend, pictured here at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Picture: DANNY LAWSON/PA WIRE - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A wedding is a major cost for any family - but just how much will it cost when royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step down the aisle?

A wedding planning company has estimated the cost at a massive £32million - though the major part of this is expected to be the cost of security.

If the figure from the Bridebook website is right, it would be ahead of the £20million estimated to have been spent on Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011.

Meanwhile, the average UK wedding now costs £27,161, according to one recent survey for another wedding planning website, Hitched. This is a huge cost for most families, but only a fraction of the royal wedding cost.

So who is picking up the bill for the happy couple? Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for a wedding, but with a royal occasion this is rather different and the major costs won’t fall to Meghan Markle’s family.

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Following the announcement of the engagement, Kensington Palace issued a statement which said: “As was the case with the wedding of the Duke and Dunchess 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.”

Whre is the money going? Just some of the key costs estimated by Bridebook are:

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Venue - £350,000. This includes £300,000 for a glass marquee for the evening reception.

Catering - £286,000. Two receptions, a formal lunch reception for state guests and a dinner reception for close family and friends, are included in this. There’s also an estimated £26,000 on sausage rolls and cups of tea for the members of the public who have been invited.

Wedding dress - £300,000-plus. This estimate includes costs for both the wedding dress and a second dress for the evening. The bride is expected to pay for her own dress.

Drinks - £193,000. This includes an estimated 1,700 bottles of vintage champagne.

Flowers - £110,000, Not just the bouquet, as floral decorations will be needed for the church and marquee.

Cake - £50,000. Estimated cost of the lemon elderflower wedding cake which the couple have commissioned, in a break from tradition.

Security - £30million. The biggest element of the costs, including policing in Wiindsor and crowd control measures. The taxpayer is expected to foot the bill for this, but the economy will also benefit from the big day, because of tourism and merchandise sales.

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