Published On: Sat, Aug 11th, 2018

Royal Weddings: Most expensive royal weddings in history – you might be surprised


Royal weddings around the globe are large and lavish affairs, but the British Royal Family, in particular, has had its fair of opulent nuptials.

In the past decade alone, two of the most expensive royal weddings of all time have taken place on British soil.

Watched by 29 million people around the globe, the marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in May was said to have cost around £35 million.

But despite the extortionate price tag and glitz and glamour, their wedding was actually not the most expensive British royal wedding to have taken place.


Royal Weddings: Most expensive royal weddings in history – you might be surprised

Most expensive British royal weddings in history

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 – cost unknown

While the total cost of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding day is unknown, it is expected that their big day cost a fair few pounds.

Two years after the end of the Second World War and Britain was still rationing, with the Queen actually using rationing coupons to pay for her wedding dress.

To acquire the material needed, Elizabeth conserved her coupons, with the British government also gifting her 200 coupons.

The coupons were used to create her spectacular gown – a Sir Norman Hartnell custom-designed ivory silk gown, with a 13-foot train and 10,000 seed pearls important from the US.

The couple’s nine-foot tall wedding cake was also no doubt costly, baked by McVitie and Price and shipping in ingredients from all over the world.

Most expensive British royal weddings in history

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 – cost unknown

While the total cost of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding day is unknown, it is expected that their big day cost a fair few pounds.

Two years after the end of the Second World War and Britain was still rationing, with the Queen actually using rationing coupons to pay for her wedding dress.

To acquire the material needed, Elizabeth conserved her coupons, with the British government also gifting her 200 coupons.

The coupons were used to create her spectacular down – a Sir Norman Hartnell custom-designed ivory silk gown, with a 13-foot train and 10,000 seed pearls important from the US.

The couple’s nine-foot tall wedding cake was also no doubt costly, baked by McVitie and Price and shipping in ingredients from all over the world.

Most expensive royal wedding ranked

British royalty are known for their lavish nuptials – costing millions of pounds (Image: Getty Images)

Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton in 2011 – £26 million

According to reports, the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William cost around $34 million, or £26 million.

But despite the sky-high price, most of the money was actually spent on security – which apparently cost £25 million.

Kate’s stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress is reported to have been one of the most expensive aspects of the day, costing around £340,000.

Other costs included £8,000 for Kate’s wedding band, £471,000 for the reception, £628,000 for flowers and a whopping £62,000 for their jaw-dropping wedding cake.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 – £32 million.

Despite not taking place in London and actually costing less than William and Kate’s nuptials, the security threat caused the price of this year’s Royal Wedding to soar – with a staggering £30 million reportedly spent on security.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wedding

The Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding was financed on ration coupons (Image: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding cost around £26 million (Image: Getty Images)

With a total of 600 guests, a big ceremony, lunchtime reception and evening reception, the costs added up.

Despite the royals owning the venues for the big day, expenses such as catering, staff and marquees all made the cost soar. It is reported to have cost £350,000 alone to get Frogmore House up to scratch for the big day.

Catering is said to have cost £286,000, drinks around £193,000 and flowers £110,000. Meghan’s stunning couture Givenchy gown is said to have cost anything between £300,000 and £400,000.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 – £86 million adjusted for inflation

While William and Harry’s weddings both had sky-high price tags, they were nothing compared to that of their mother, Princess Diana’s.

It was dubbed the “wedding of the century” with Diana wearing a custom-made David and Elizabeth Emmanuel dress reportedly costing £31,600 in today’s money.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Royal Wedding

Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel, Windsor (Image: Getty Images)

Prince Charles and Diana wedding

Charles and Diana’s wedding cost a staggering £86 million – adjusted for inflation (Image: Getty Images)

A whopping 3,500 guests attended the ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral, with around £600,000 being spent on security to protect the couple, public and guests. Other huge expenses included 27 wedding cakes and a huge reception hosted at Buckingham Palace.

Margaret of York and Charles the Bold of Burgundy Wedding in 1498 – £157,000 adjusted for inflation

Modern royals weddings seem almost cheap compared to the 1468 nuptials of Margaret of York and Charles the Bold of Burgundy.

Their wedding reportedly cost £157,000, adjusted for inflation, according to The Scotsman – a fortune at the time.

And no wonder, as their lavish celebrations included week-long parades, a four-day jousting competition calling on Europe’s most famous knights.

Margaret is also documented to have worn a crown covered in pearls and diamonds, even giving Diana’s 10,000 pearl dress a run for its money.



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Royal Weddings: Most expensive royal weddings in history – you might be surprised