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Austerity just an act for pricey royal nuptials?

Royals

Royals Photo Credit: Getty

Royal weddings are naturally pricey affairs. Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding reportedly cost around $17.5 million in 1981.

But for Kate Middleton and Prince William's nups, the term "austerity chic" is being bandied about.

In an effort to cut costs and seem less ostentatious, Kate will arrive at Westminster Abbey in a car rather than a gilded carriage, and the families have agreed to incur most of the costs.

But despite the royals' attempts to seem a bit less extravagant in the face of Britain's economic woes and high rate of unemployment, the price tag for April 29 will be breathtaking. While the actual numbers are kept under wraps, here are some eye-popping estimates:

The whole shebang

Estimates on the cost of the wedding vary from $13 million to $80 million (which includes the high cost of security).

Wedding dress

Kate's highly buzzed-about dress (or dresses - there are rumors that she has several in case one leaks to the press) will have a price tag somewhere in the $50,000 range, according to reports. A RadarOnline report cited a much more extravagant price: $434,000.

Lost productivity

The April 29 "bank holiday" (that's British for national holiday) may cost about $9 billion in lost productivity and overtime payments, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Street cleaning

It's expected to cost the British taxpayers $65,000 to clean up after the royal procession. 60,000 people are expected to descend upon the city for the wedding.

Security

$32 million, according to RadarOnline. This is the biggest expense at the wedding, and it will fall on taxpayers.

Flowers

Filling Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace with flowers is no cheap task, and fresh flowers are expected to cost between $320,000 and $800,000, according to MSNBC.


Maybe not so expensive in the long run: Many of the costs of the royal wedding may be canceled out by the estimated $1.6 billion being brought in from tourism, newspaper, magazine and memorabilia sales. Each year, the royal family brings in about $800 million in tourism.

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