£515M ROYAL WEDDING ECLIPSED BY DIANA’S
Prince William, 28, will marry Kate Middleton, 29, at Westminster Abbey on April 29
Wednesday February 23,2011
THE Royal wedding is set to generate half a billion pounds for UK retailers – just a quarter of what Charles and Diana’s big day rang up.
In 1981, the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the late princess contributed £680million to the British economy – the equivalent of £2.2billion today, adjusted for inflation.
More than 600,000 tourists jetted to London while another 750 million watched the ceremony on television.
Thirty years on and Prince William, 28, will marry Kate Middleton, 29, at Westminster Abbey on April 29.
While the excitement is mounting, the Centre for Retail Research predicts the event will only bring in £515million for UK retailers.
The 1981 wedding is thought to have cost around £30million. Kate and William’s will be substantially less extravagant, with the Royal family thought to be sensitive to the current financial difficulties faced by many Britons.
But with more than 6.5 million people across the UK expected to mark the nuptials, research commissioned by Kelkoo shows that food and drink sales are expected to account for 46 per cent of the total expenditure, with £236.5million expected to be spent. Analysts said they anticipated £97.5million of that will be spent on alcoholic drinks, including half a million bottles of champagne. Sales of souvenirs, memorabilia, and wedding related merchandise are expected to generate £222.3million, including five million commemorative coins, three million mugs and pottery products, and replica jewellery worth an estimated £10million and books, biographies and albums which are expected to net around £45million. The UK will also benefit from increased tourism, with an extra 320,000 visitors from overseas, generating a total of £56.7million.
Luxury wedding planner Mark Niemierko said: “Overall, I think British interest in the wedding is slightly less than it was when Charles and Diana got married. But, the excitement will probably build as the date gets closer.”
He added that one of the main reasons for the decrease in spending for this year’s Royal wedding was “consumers making different choices about what they buy”.
“People used to buy lots of collectable items, but now people don’t collect things as much, so the spend on memorabilia, for example, will be far less than it was in 1981,” he explained.