Prince Charles ‘to pay for the royal wedding’
Perhaps with a little help from his mother... But taxpayers could face a £20m security bill
It seems Prince Charles has cocked an ear to public feeling about the cost of the royal wedding. It is reported today that he will meet the expense of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding next year out of his personal fortune – reckoned to be in the region of £1 billion - possibly with a donation from the Queen.
The state will not be expected to pay for the ceremony or the wedding breakfast – but it is likely to fork out for security. This bill could be as much as £20m according to guestimates: it will depend on how many foreign dignitaries need looking after. If the royal family can be persuaded that not every distant cousin and obscure world leader has to be invited, the cost to the taxpayer could be reduced considerably.
A royal spokesman has already promised that the ceremony will be in keeping with the new age of austerity. But that doesn’t mean the wedding will be austere. It will mean doing good deals rather than paring back to the bone. Why, for example, pay a fortune for the dress when the designer will be getting better free publicity than he or she ever dreamt of?
(Incidentally, The First Post’s suggestion that the father of the bride might be asked – as is traditional – to pay for the wedding, will not apparently be taken up. However, some royal correspondents are suggesting that Michael and Carole Middleton might choose to offer to pay for the honeymoon. Hint, hint.)
There are still no details of where and when the ceremony will take place. But March is an increasingly popular bet and Westminster Abbey is looking a likely venue after Kate was spotted visiting the Abbey last night.
Photos in the Daily Mail show her emerging from the Abbey in the London twilight, surrounded by royal aides. It was, of course, the venue for William’s mother’s funeral and Kate might yet prefer St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Mail quotes a royal source saying: "Kate knows St Paul’s fairly well but she wasn’t familiar with Westminster Abbey. So she wanted to get a feel for the place. Now that she has, the two of them will make a final decision."
Note that even 'royal sources' are continuing to call her Kate not Catherine. Anyone who thinks the latter will ever catch on doesn’t understand tabloid headline writing: 'KATE SHOCK' will fit nicely in shrieking red-top type whereas 'CATHERINE S-' will never cut it. ·
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