The ten most expensive royal weddings of all time – with one racking up a sum of £75.5million
- No expenses are spared when with royal weddings, and these are no exception
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It was a truly memorable day – the sun shone, the bride looked radiant and there was optimism in the air when Harry and Meghan got married five years ago this weekend.
The cost was memorable, too, of course, with a stunning £390,000 Givenchy dress for the bride, little or no expense was spared for the lavish occasion.
The total bill came in at an estimated £32m – and most of that was the cost of security, paid by the taxpayer!
But substantial as that figure might seem, it was by no means the most expensive royal wedding: far from it in fact, as this glittering round-up shows…
The most expensive royal weddings over time (with inflation adjusted figures)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding
The then Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena during the wedding ceremony on May 22, 2004
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, married Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018.
On her arrival at the Chapel, Eugenie looked beautiful in a long-sleeved open-back gown with folded shoulders and a voluminous train designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.
Following the exchange of vows, carried out a short carriage procession to greet well-wishers before arriving back at Windsor Castle for a lunch hosted by the Queen.
In the evening, Prince Andrew hosted a black-tie reception at Royal Lodge.
The wedding itself and the two parties were paid for privately by the bride’s family, along with the flowers, entertainment and dress. However, it is estimated that the security on the day came in at £2million.
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, married Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018
Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank kissing as they emerge from the West Door of St George’s Chapel
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19, 2018.
The star-studded affair, with guests including Elton John, the Beckhams and George and Amal Clooney, took place in front of 600 guests in the Chapel.
Meghan stunned as she walked down the aisle in a bespoke Givenchy dress, which had an almost five-metre-long veil, that came to an estimated £390,000.
It was reported that the overall wedding cost an estimated £32million
And like Prince William and Kate’s wedding, the majority of the budget went towards security, with other expenses including the church service, music, decorations, flowers and the reception.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19, 2018
Meghan stunned as she walked down the aisle in a bespoke Givenchy dress, which had an almost five-metre-long veil
Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
Not long after Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, Prince Albert of Monaco tied the knot with Charlene Wittstock in a Catholic ceremony held in the courtyard of the medieval Palace of Monaco.
It was hailed as the nation’s ‘biggest party in 55 years’, following Albert’s late father, Prince Rainier’s marriage to Hollywood star Grace Kelly.
Much like his parent’s big day, no expenses were spared as the bride wore a silk Armani gown, which was studded with 40,000 Swarovski crystals and 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops.
Following the nuptials, the newlyweds drove off in a custom-made Lexus hybrid to change for the evening festivities.
The royal couple’s three-day celebrations cost an estimated £53million.
Prince Albert of Monaco tied the knot with Charlene Wittstock in a Catholic ceremony held in the courtyard of the medieval Palace of Monaco in July 2011
Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco cutting the cake during the Royal Wedding
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Without a doubt one of the most unforgettable weddings of the century, Prince William married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey.
Kate Middleton wore a £250,000 gown by Alexander McQueen, which included a nine-foot-long train and a lace bodice hand-stitched by the world’s best seamstresses at the Royal School of Needlework.
The Prince and Princess of Waleses security bill was the largest expense of their big day, with the total cost of the wedding being around £30million.
The palace later confirmed that the royal family had paid for core aspects of the wedding, including the church service, associated music, flowers, decorations and the reception.
Prince William married his bride Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey
Prince William kissing his wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Royal Wedding
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain
Felipe, then Crown Prince and heir to the throne, married former journalist Letizia Ortiz in a lavish ceremony at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral in May 2004.
The now King tied the knot with his bride in the presence of around 1,500 guests and was aired on television and garnered 25 million views in Spain alone.
Letizia wore a bespoke gown created by Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz, which featured a high collar, four-metre train and real gold accents, and was said to have cost £6million alone.
The lavish reception featured a two-metre wedding cake and was washed down with 1,000 bottles of champagne.
In total, the festivities have been estimated at £19million.
The newly-wedded Royal Couple, Crown Prince of the Asturias Felipe of Spain and Princess of the Asturias Letizia of Spain on May 22, 2004
Felipe, then Crown Prince and heir to the throne, married former journalist Letizia Ortiz in a lavish ceremony at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral in May 2004
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
The wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson took place in the Copenhagen Cathedral which was followed by a reception at the Fredensborg Palace on May 14, 2004.
The bride opted for a wedding dress by Danish fashion designer Uffe Frank, with a veil first worn by Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden.
The cost of the royal nuptials is estimated at around £11.4million.
While the exact figure sum is unknown, it was reported that the couple allegedly went 4.5 million kroner over their wedding budget.
The Wedding Of Crown Prince Frederik & Mary Donaldson At The Vor Frue Kirke Cathedral
Crown princess Mary of Denmark kissed her husband Crown prince Frederik on the balcony at Amalienborg castle to the cheer of thousands in Copenhagen
Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
Married at the St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London on 1 July, 1995, the wedding of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller reportedly set back the bride’s billionaire father, Robert Warren Miller, £8million.
The celebrations were said to have brought together the largest gathering of royalty in London since Queen Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip in 1947.
The bride’s radiant ivory silk Valentino gown studded with pearls and a four-metre Chantilly lace train reportedly cost £170,000.
It was said that the dress took four months and 12 different kinds of lace to complete.
The pre-wedding events were reportedly just as grand as the day itself, featuring a champagne reception for 1,200 guests with 100,000 flowers flown in from Ecuador.
Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie Chantal Miller married at the St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London on 1 July, 1995
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi and Princess Salama
The wedding held for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and Princess Salama in 1981 has gone down in history as having the most expensive wedding to date.
In preparation for the wedding, a 20,000-seat stadium was built especially for the couple.
The week-long wedding celebrations also consisted of the family visiting every town in the emirate by horseback and feeding all of its inhabitants.
While few photos of the event were released, the cost of the wedding came in at an estimated £75.5million.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan leaveing France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy after a meeting at the presidential Elysee palace in Paris on May 20, 2011
Prince Charles and Princess Diana
King Charles III and Princess Diana’s big day at St Paul’s Cathedral was dubbed ‘the wedding of the century’ – and it is easy to see why.
The event was broadcasted on televisions around the world with an astonishing 750 million people across 74 countries tuning in to watch Charles and Diana.
Princess Diana’s dress has gone down in history as one of the most iconic wedding gowns. Covered in 10,000 pearls, the dress was made from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace – it alone cost £11,000.
Their wedding day is thought to have around £57million, with the biggest expense being the security, which cost an estimated £490,000.
According to the BBC, more than 5,000 police participated in crowd control along the royal couple’s two-mile route.
The Prince of Wales and Princess Diana on the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral during their marriage ceremony in 1981
Their wedding day is thought to have around £57million, with the biggest expense being the security
Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly
Sixty-seven years ago on April 18, 1956, Grace Kelly, the sweetheart of Hollywood, married Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in a spectacular ceremony at St Nicholas Cathedral.
The Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the Roman Catholic Church required that two ceremonies be held – one civil and one religious. So, the entire Palace of Monaco was redecorated for the first ceremony, which was to be followed by a reception for 3,000 Monaco citizens.
Meanwhile, the Saint Nicholas Cathedral had to be prepared for the religious, ceremony, which was to be overseen by Monaco’s Bishop, Gilles Barthe, and watched on international television by what was estimated to be 30million people.
On April 18, 1956, Grace Kelly, the sweetheart of Hollywood, married Monaco’s Prince Rainier
US actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco during their ceremony in Monaco
The bride arrived in a dress fit for a princess, comprised of 300 yards of antique Belgian lace and 150 yards of silk, taffeta and tulle. It had taken 36 seamstresses six weeks to make the gorgeous dress, which featured a high neckline, multiple petticoats and antique pearls.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds headed off on a seven-week cruise, on a 147-foot yacht named Deo Juvante II, a gift from Aristotle Onassis.
Without a complete breakdown of costs available, it is unknown how much the grand day cost, however, it is assumed to be tens of millions – with Grace’s gown costing around £80,000 today.
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