Why the Royal wedding should not be a lavish affair

November 17, 2010 12:56 PM

It would be impossible not to blog about the Royal wedding today. It’s on the front page of almost every newspaper and it feels like everyone is talking about it. Prince William finally confirmed yesterday that he and Kate Middleton are to marry in 2011; she will one day be Queen. Within hours of the announcement, journalists and commentators were already asking questions about the cost to taxpayers of the nuptials.

A Royal wedding will be an exciting occasion for the public, but William and Kate should avoid a lavish ceremony at a time when there is huge pressure on the public finances. The young couple will have a gaggle of advisors to help them plan their big day, and I am sure all of them will have firmly in their minds the importance of avoiding anything too expensive or showy. By January next year VAT will have gone up and many households will be feeling the squeeze of the rising costs of living. The cuts in public spending will still very much be in the headlines. It would be deeply unfair on taxpayers and make William and Kate look out of touch if the celebrations were too extravagant.

This is not like any other wedding and there will be unavoidable costs to the taxpayer. The price of the dress is likely to pale in comparison to other expenses. Security and policing around the event will have to be tight, for everyone’s protection. The Royals have a high profile and there will be international interest. We already pay for the protection for prominent public figures and the level of security for the future King’s wedding means it's likely to be one of the big ticket items on the taxpayers’ bill.

Given that ordinary taxpayers are likely to have to make one of the main outlays, it would be a welcome gesture if the Windsor family put some of their independent wealth towards the costs. This would show that they understand the pressures that ordinary families and the public finances are under.

For those who are fans of the Royals the wedding will be an international day of celebration, it will bring money to the UK through tourism and we cannot ignore that there will be some benefit to our economy.  Of course it should be an event for the whole nation to celebrate, but British taxpayers should not be left with a bill fit for a king. The message to Wills and Kate is clear: enjoy your big moment, but remember those who are paying for it and keep the cost to taxpayers down.It would be impossible not to blog about the Royal wedding today. It’s on the front page of almost every newspaper and it feels like everyone is talking about it. Prince William finally confirmed yesterday that he and Kate Middleton are to marry in 2011; she will one day be Queen. Within hours of the announcement, journalists and commentators were already asking questions about the cost to taxpayers of the nuptials.

A Royal wedding will be an exciting occasion for the public, but William and Kate should avoid a lavish ceremony at a time when there is huge pressure on the public finances. The young couple will have a gaggle of advisors to help them plan their big day, and I am sure all of them will have firmly in their minds the importance of avoiding anything too expensive or showy. By January next year VAT will have gone up and many households will be feeling the squeeze of the rising costs of living. The cuts in public spending will still very much be in the headlines. It would be deeply unfair on taxpayers and make William and Kate look out of touch if the celebrations were too extravagant.

This is not like any other wedding and there will be unavoidable costs to the taxpayer. The price of the dress is likely to pale in comparison to other expenses. Security and policing around the event will have to be tight, for everyone’s protection. The Royals have a high profile and there will be international interest. We already pay for the protection for prominent public figures and the level of security for the future King’s wedding means it's likely to be one of the big ticket items on the taxpayers’ bill.

Given that ordinary taxpayers are likely to have to make one of the main outlays, it would be a welcome gesture if the Windsor family put some of their independent wealth towards the costs. This would show that they understand the pressures that ordinary families and the public finances are under.

For those who are fans of the Royals the wedding will be an international day of celebration, it will bring money to the UK through tourism and we cannot ignore that there will be some benefit to our economy.  Of course it should be an event for the whole nation to celebrate, but British taxpayers should not be left with a bill fit for a king. The message to Wills and Kate is clear: enjoy your big moment, but remember those who are paying for it and keep the cost to taxpayers down.

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