As the Royal Wedding approaches, does the level of expenditure match the level of excitement nationwide? Or is the event about as relevant to the British public as a polo tournament where the spectators eat gold and dodo eggs?
Apparently there’s something happening on Friday 29 April, some big event? Ah yes, a Royal Wedding!
William and Kate will tie the knot on this date at Westminster Abbey, which has been marked as a Bank Holiday to celebrate the occasion.
Questions have been asked of the expense of such an occasion. The Royal Family and the Middleton family will pay for the cost of the wedding reception and honeymoon.
However, security and the clean up after the ceremony will be funded by the tax payer. Policing is expected to cost the taxpayer anything from the £1 million it cost for the recent Papal visit, to the £7 million it cost the UK to police the G20 protests. This has seen a few raised eyebrows by those who believe that all aspects of the wedding should be at the Royals’ expense. Surely they can afford it? If they can’t, then how can the British taxpayer in these tough economic times?
Security will inevitably be tight, not just for the bride and groom but for their royal guests and other important figures attending. The cost of this policing has been increased due to the day being made a bank holiday by the Prime Minister which means that the officers will be paid double time for working that day.
Businesses are concerned that the bank holiday will encourage workers to not turn up for work for the three day week, what with the Monday being Easter Monday, another bank holiday. This will cost businesses money. However, the wedding will attract mass tourism, with pubs, restaurants and the hotel industry all set to benefit from the bank holiday.
The event will see a return of the traditional British street parties, full of Union Jacks and celebration. Such parties are planned here in Bristol too. It is hoped these will promote a sense of community in areas by bringing neighbours together. Alongside these, there will also be countless alternative parties, all celebrating anything but the Royals.
The British weather is bound to be unpredictable, but what is certain is that this occasion will mark a new era in the Royal Family and will be a breath of fresh air to an institution deemed outdated and archaic by some. William and Kate’s apparent popularity with both the older and younger generations may be attributed to their down-to-earth nature and their understanding of the public exemplified by their wish for a ‘low key’ ceremony in these times of economic austerity. The mass interest is not something they have asked for but they seem to understand and acknowledge it without complaining.
Fingers crossed for a nice, hot, sunny day, where we can sit in a beer garden enjoying a refreshing beverage and toast the marriage of the future King and Queen of England. Regardless of how much the tax payer has contributed to the ceremony, let’s ‘get our money’s worth’ and embrace the day off and celebrate that Great British tradition of a Royal Wedding and wish William and Kate a long and happy marriage.