A wedding is always a big and expensive event — especially if it's a royal one.
Much of the budget is spent on security as well as accommodating hundreds or even thousands of guests, many of whom are high-ranking dignitaries and heads of state. Let's have a look at some of the world's most costly royal weddings.
Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhtadee Billah bin Hassanal Bolkiah and Pengiran Anak Sarah, 2004
Cost: $3.5 million
The groom's family is considered one of the richest in the world, so it's not surprising that the heir to the throne's wedding was lavish and expensive — though it might be considered modest by royal standards. The ceremony took place at the Istana Nurul Iman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, and was attended by royalty and leaders from around the world. After the wedding, the Prince drove eight kilometers through Brunei's capital in a gold Rolls Royce, followed by a procession of 103 limousines led by an orchestra.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly, 1956
Price: estimated at $40–50 million
According to some estimates, one of the most memorable royal events of the era had even surpassed the cost of Queen Elizabeth and Duke Philip's wedding — all because the nuptial festivities lasted about a week. The ceremony was attended by 600 guests and featured a six-tiered cake and thousands of white lilacs and lilies-of-the-valley. About 30 dressmakers were involved in creating Grace Kelly's famous gown, embroidered with pearls and lace. The dress is estimated to cost around $300,000 in today's money.
Prince Felipe and Leticia Ortiz Rocasolano, 2004
Cost: $25 million
Heir to the Spanish throne Prince Felipe and journalist Leticia Ortiz Rocasolano got married at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. The broadcast of the celebration was watched by millions of viewers around the world. More than 1,500 guests attended the reception, including royalty from various countries, and the wedding cake was over two meters high. The total cost of the event was $25 million, of which $9 million was spent on security. The Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz created the bride's dress, which had a four-meter long train embroidered in gold and silver.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, 2011
Price: $34 million
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was one of the greatest and most famous royal nuptials in modern history. The security cost amounted to a half of the event's total value, while another $360,000 was spent on the Duchess' Alexander McQueen gown.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 2018
Cost: $40 million
Once again, much of the budget for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding was spent on event security. The service in St. George's Chapel was attended by six hundred people — there were celebrity guests from the bride's side but almost no foreign royalty. Markle wore a wedding gown by Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of the French fashion house Givenchy, which cost $95,000.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 1981
Cost: estimated at $70–110 million
Prince Charles and Lady Di's nuptials were deservedly dubbed the "wedding of the century." The cost of their special event hasn't been surpassed by any contemporary blue-blooded couple: the inflation-adjusted estimates range from $70 to $110 million.
The wedding ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral was attended by 3,500 guests, and 750 million people all over the world watched the live broadcast. The five-tier cake took two weeks to complete, and each of the cake's pieces came in a silver box as a little souvenir for the guests. Diana's wedding dress by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel featured the longest train in history (eight meters) and was decorated with lace and thousands of pearls.