The Royal Wedding’s Mind Boggling Numbers

May 1st, 2011   •   no comments   

Waving to the crowds
Prince William and Catherine Middleton now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Courtesy of The British Monarchy)

By now, possibly every man, woman and child with media access would have read, viewed or heard about the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton. Many die-hard romantics around the world would have tuned into this once-in-a-blue-blooded-moon affair, oohing and aahing at the heart-warming courtship stories, elaborate regalia, immaculate trimmings, and pristine settings of this ethereal fairytale event.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge>
Courtesy of The British Monarchy

Resplendent with superlatively extravagant pomp and pageantry, the estimated US$34 million dollar royal nuptials have resulted in many revenue opportunities for large and small businesses alike. To give you an idea, here are some of the selected costs in the entire inventory of royal wedding paraphernalia (courtesy of CBS money watch):

– Cost of Kate’s wedding gown: US$434,000
– Cost of two wedding cakes: US$80,000
– Number of guests for the Queen’s luncheon reception: 600
– Number of guests for Prince Charles’s dinner reception: 300
– Cost per bottle of wine to be served at the luncheon reception: US$14 to US$23
– Cost per bottle of champagne to be served before the dinner reception: US$50
– Cost of security for Will and Kate’s wedding (to be paid by taxpayers): US$33 million

The Royal Wedding Cake
Not just any ordinary wedding cake (Courtesy of The British Monarchy)

While the above figures are impressive to note, one should also consider the other economic spin-offs that can possibly be accrued from this Royal Bash (again from CBS money watch), thanks to the British Royal Family:

– Number of additional tourists expected in London for the Royal Wedding: 600,000
– Amount those tourists are expected to spend on April 29: US$82 million
– Total tourism revenue expected from the Royal Wedding in 2011: US$825 million+
– Cost of the “Royal Wedding Tour” at Westminster Abbey: US$26
– Cost of a life-sized cardboard cutout of William and Kate: US$58.50
– Cost of 2 William and Kate tea bags: US$8
– Winning auction bid for a pair of William and Kate Pez dispensers: US$13,360

Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace
Tis the season for huge crowds rallying to show their support (courtesy of The British Monarchy)

Naturally, a big part of the Royal Wedding’s influence is felt through its massive interest on viewers, listeners and surfers around the world. A staggering 8,500 journalists and reporters are estimated to be in UK during the event, reporting back to their home countries on the purple-hued proceedings. With many countries around the world streaming the proceedings live, they have estimated that a global audience of 2 billion would watch this on TV.

Will and Kate’s bridal bash is also creating huge waves online, with some purporting that it will beat online streaming records, especially with its Youtube live streaming video aiming to hit 400 million viewers (which is far more than Obama’s peak online viewership of 70 million) .

Beyond live streaming on Youtube, the Royal Wedding (or rather UK’s Royal Family) also has its own Twitter account (with hashtag #rw2011), Facebook page, photos on Flickr. The enchanting engagement and wedding has also sparked off hundreds of fan sites, accounts, and networks. Collectively, it has generated a significant buzz online as seen in this infographic from Mashable:


Courtesy of Mashable.com

On a more sobering note, all that glamour, glitz and glitter isn’t cheap. Estimates of the total cost of the wedding – including opportunity costs incurred by giving Britain a four day weekend – run up to a princely sum from US$5 billion to US$50 billion. Whew! I suppose there isn’t a value-for-money way to spin a global fairytale that hopefully ends happily ever after.

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