From piggate on the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle:

enter image description here

The caption reads:

  • 33 million on a fucking wedding
  • 8 million on fucking security
  • 50 grand for a fucking wedding cake
  • 90 grand for fucking trumpets
  • 300 grand for fucking music

Knowing the taxpayer picks up the bill,
- Fucking priceless

  • 9
    "Random guy on facebook photoshops something together" is not a notable claim. Immediately giving your own answer doesn't make it a notable claim.
    – Ben Barden
    May 22, 2018 at 15:08
  • @BenBarden You need only demonstrate "a lot of people have heard of the claim" to establish notability skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/864/… In this case, the claim has 20,000 shares. May 22, 2018 at 15:13
  • One thing to remember about claims like this (and renders the claim slightly irrelevant) is that money doesn't disappear when it is spent. Would piggate prefer that the monarchy sat on the money and didn't spend it? May 25, 2018 at 13:41
  • @SteveSmith Presumably, they would prefer that the money goes to people who produce -- teachers, factory workers etc to be spent as they see fit. And, not just some relic of Christian theocracy that thinks it's deserving because of their blood. Jun 25, 2018 at 18:49
  • @Evan Carroll according to the question image, a lot of it is: to "factory workers" who make wedding paraphanalia (e.g. wedding dresses, food and trumpets). Jamiec 's answer has more detail. Jun 26, 2018 at 8:35

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be a complete exhaustive accounting of the cost/income from the royal wedding, so we are left to gleam some information from fairly inaccurate reporting.

Even more unfortunately, this sort of breakdown usually comes from the tabloids, who are not exactly known for their accuracy. But here goes.

The Express reports that

  • Reported total cost of £32M, including
    • £400K Givenchy dress paid for by the bride herself
    • £30M security bill picked up by taxpayers
    • £90K for 20 silver plated trumpets
    • £110K for flowers
    • £26K for sausage rolls & tea for the 2,640 members of the public invited to watch outside the chapel (how very English!)
  • Reported boost to the UK economy of £500M

The Sun has a similar breakdown

  • £32M cost made up of
    • £90K for 20 silver trumpets
    • £50K for the wedding cake
    • £110K for flowers
    • £300K glass marquee hire
    • £26K for sausages and tea (Such a specific amount for saussy rolls and tea!)
    • £30M for security
    • £300-400K for the dress
  • "expected to provide a £500m boost to Britain’s economy – thanks to tourism and merchandise."

A Town and country mag article before the big day had a slightly different take, but the costs are broadly the same (it seems much of it is based on reports of Willliam & Kate's wedding 7 years prior) but once again state

Morality aside, the 2018 royal wedding is expected to provide a £500 million pound boost to the country's economy in the form of tourism, commemorative merchandise, and essentially "free advertising for Britain."

tldr; The tax payers appear to be footing the bill for security, for some pomp and ceremony and for some light refreshments for a select few "important people" on the day, and are being repaid roughly 15x by an increase in tourism and souvenir sales associated with the royal wedding.

Related: Is the British monarchy economically beneficial?

  • "for some pomp and ceremony and for some light refreshments" I fail to see any evidence of this?
    – user43646
    May 23, 2018 at 12:19
  • @Orangesandlemons I was referring to silver trumpets, glass marquees and sausage rolls.
    – Jamiec
    May 23, 2018 at 12:37
  • Where can you see that the taxpayer paid for it?
    – user43646
    May 23, 2018 at 14:32
  • Both articles were pretty explicit about the bride paying for her own dress, but made no mention of the couple paying for these items. I think we can safely assume they came from the public purse - but you're right its not specified. In any case whether taxpayers paid it or not its the income seems to outweigh the expenditure - so its rather moot.
    – Jamiec
    May 23, 2018 at 15:33

The Sun reports

Meghan is expected to have paid for her own dress, while taxpayers footed the bill for security.

The The Independent seem to indicate that most of the costs are paid for by the family,

The cost of security is of note, because it is the bill that will be paid by the taxpayer.

And it goes on to say,

The cost of the big event has been estimated at as much as £32m by wedding planning service Bridebook, with security costs predicted at more than £30m. Other estimates have put the security bill at closer to £24m.

But they do make note,

The Royal family will pay for the remainder of the wedding from their own funds - however, as they also receive funding from the public purse it makes it more difficult to quantify how much of the money being spent on the wedding comes from the taxpayer.

;tldr: Security comes straight from the tax payers, the royal family is inherently a mooch on society and so it's likely you could make the argument everything they did was an expense to taxpayers. Though ceremonial, it is still more or less the lifestyle of a monarchy.

  • 18
    I'd note that "funding from the public purse" comes largely from the profits from the Crown Estate, which the monarch handed over to the treasury in exchange for said funding. Whether this counts as "mooching" is, as such, hard to assess.
    – ceejayoz
    May 21, 2018 at 20:18
  • 12
    This comes across as more an anti-monarchy rant than a well researched answer. Specifically if you're going to assert that "The royal family are a mooch on society" that requires some sourcing that the income from the royals is outweighed by their expense.
    – Jamiec
    May 22, 2018 at 7:01
  • 14
    The last paragraph is unnecessarily provocative. Tone it down to be factual. Security of most public events comes from the taxpayer, btw. Soccer games "mooch" in the same way...
    – Polygnome
    May 22, 2018 at 13:16
  • 7
    @EvanCarroll your bias is showing. Any time you start saying things like "doing this difficult/impossible/expensive thing is required to have any argument in favor of..." it's pretty clear that you're advocating strongly for the other side.
    – Ben Barden
    May 22, 2018 at 15:13
  • 11
    Trying to pull this back on-topic... it remains the case that "the royal family is inherently a mooch on society" is a very strong claim that is also at least somewhat off-topic for the question and has no support at all in the answer itself. It makes the answer worse, and should be removed. If you want a space in which to rant that the royal family is a mooch on society... this is not that space.
    – Ben Barden
    May 22, 2018 at 15:51

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