10 Of The Most Expensive Royal Weddings Of All Time

We were not expecting number one to top the list

There’s no denying that weddings can be an incredibly expensive affair. And while the rule applies to us ‘commoners’, too, the price tag attached to royal weddings unsurprisingly takes the concept of ‘expensive’ to a whole other level.

Between hiring security to manage crowds of thousands and catering to a guest list that often features just as many, planning and executing a wedding of such magnitude is, understandably, no small feat.

Here, we look back at 10 of the most expensive royal weddings in history. Scroll on to see them all.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's 2018 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

10. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s 2018 Wedding

Estimated cost: approx. AUD $4.9 million (£2.7 million)

Although the royal family has never revealed how much Princess Eugenie’s wedding cost, it’s been estimated to be a conservative (by royal standards) $4.9 million for all the catering, security, flowers, entertainment and extraneous expenses. The princess’ dress also allegedly accounted for a significant amount, with Harper’s BAZAAR U.S. surmising the cost to be around AUD $193,000 (USD $135,000).

Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah of Brunei and Sarah Salleh 2004 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

9. Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah of Brunei and Sarah Salleh 2004 Wedding

Estimated cost: Approx. AUD $5 million (£2.8million)

Hailing from one of the wealthiest families in the world and heir to the throne of Brunei, it’s unsurprising that Prince Al-Muhtadee’s wedding to Sarah Salleh incurred an expense of around $5 million (extremely modest by their standards). Held at the Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, the ceremony was attended by royal families and leaders from all over the world. Post-wedding, the prince paraded eight kilometres across Brunei’s capital in a gold Rolls Royce (typically used by the family for weddings), followed by 103 limousines, with a marching band leading the procession.

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller's 1995 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

8. Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller’s 1995 Wedding

Estimated cost: AUD $11 (USD $8 million)

Married at the St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London with a reception at the Hampton Court Palace, Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal’s big day is said to have set the prince’s parents back around $11 million. The pre-wedding events were reportedly as grand as the day itself, featuring a champagne reception for 1,200 guests that featured 100,000 flowers flown in from Ecuador for the occasion. The bride’s custom pearl-encrusted Valentino gown, which included a 13-foot Chantilly lace train, allegedly cost USD $225,000 at the time, and took 25 seamstresses four months to create.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly's 1956 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

7. Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly’s 1956 Wedding

Estimated cost: Unknown, but assumed to be tens of millions

While the exact cost of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III’s nuptials is unknown, many have estimated that the glamorous wedding would have incurred tens of millions. One of the most memorable weddings of its era, their 1956 ceremony included a 600-person guest list, a six-tiered wedding cake depicting Monaco’s pink palace and history fashioned out of sugar, and thousands of white lilacs and lilies of the valley. The To Catch A Thief actress’ extravagant wedding gown, which was composed of 100 yards of silk and 25 yards of taffeta, reportedly costed around $8,000. When adjusting for inflation, that amount would be well over AUD $150,000 today. Moreover, her father, millionaire Jack Kelly, reportedly need to provide a dowry of USD $2 million before she could marry the Prince. He allegedly refused, eventually proceeding to pay half while Kelly paid the other half.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson's 2004 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

6. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson’s 2004 Wedding

Estimated cost: Approx. AUD $34 million (154.4 million kroner)

Per ABC, the nuptials of Australia’s own Mary Donaldson and Denmark’s Prince Frederik was estimated to cost Danish taxpayers around $34 million. While the exact final sum is unknown, the couple allegedly went $900,000 over their wedding budget. Relatable.

Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano's 2004 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

5. Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s 2004 Wedding

Estimated cost: approx. AUD $36 million (USD $25 million)

When Prince Felipe and former journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano married at the Santa María la Real de La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid in 2004, 25 million people tuned in to watch the $36 million royal wedding. More than 1,500 attended the ceremony, and the reception feast included a two-metre-high cake, with over 1,000 bottles of champagne to wash it down with. The now-queen’s unique gown was created by Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz, and featured real gold accents and a four-metre train.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

4. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 Wedding

Estimated cost: Approx. $48.6 million (USD $34 million)

Easily one of the most memorable royal weddings in modern history, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding certainly cost a pretty penny, tallying around AUD $48.6 million. The biggest expense for the occasion was understandably security, which reportedly cost about AUD $46 million. A significant portion of the remainder went towards the Duchess’ Alexander McQueen gown (which she nearly didn’t choose), costing around AUD $514,000.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

3. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 Wedding

Estimated cost: Approx. AUD $57 million (£32 million)

Like Prince William and Kate’s wedding, much of the budget for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding went towards security, reportedly costing around AUD $54 million. Their venue, St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, was thought to be the next highest expense. Meghan’s custom Givenchy gown reportedly rang in at about AUD $135,000.

Prince Albert II Of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock's 2011 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

2. Prince Albert II Of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock’s 2011 Wedding

Estimated cost: AUD $93 to 100 million (around USD $65 to $70 million)

Shortly after Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, Prince Albert II wed former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock at the royal palace in Monaco, with a “more elaborate religious ceremony” held later, per BBC News. For her big day, Wittstock wore an off-shoulder Giorgio Armani silk gown embellished with pearls 40,000 Swarovski crystals. About 450 guests attended the royal reception, which included a fireworks display and a multicourse dinner courtesy of renowned Michelin-starred chef, Alain Ducasse.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's 1981 Wedding
(Credit: Getty)

1. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 Wedding

Estimated cost: Approx. AUD $100 to $157 million, when adjusted for inflation (USD $70 million to $110,000)

Topping the list, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 union remains one of the most expensive royal weddings in recent history (and the most expensive British royal wedding of all time). When adjusting for inflation, their wedding was reported to have cost approximately anywhere from AUD $100 million to $157 million, with the late princess’ Elizabeth and David Emmanuel wedding gown alone venturing into six figure-territory with a price tag of approximately $198,000.

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