Preserve Royalty, Guarantee Revenue
by R. Asmerom
For those of you who wonder, what does royalty really do in this age besides look fabulous and do charity work, the answer lies deep in the hoopla of the upcoming nuptials between Prince William and his princess-to-be Kate Middleton.
It may seem that the UK is spending enormous amounts of money and energy on a wedding for two people who actually have no political power but one has to appreciate just how important the royal family is to tourism. Although Britain’s economy is in recession and some are denouncing such a public display of spending, the wedding is set to generate a generous return on its investment.
According to the New York Times, one million tourists are expected for the wedding on April 29th, with analysts predicting that the event will generate over $1 billion in retails sales, according to Verdict, an industry research firm.
Since William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, the wedding does not actually count as a formal state occasion, but that hasn’t given Britain any reason to not use the wedding as an opportunity to market their brand and infuse a celebratory mood among its residents who will have a day off from work to mark the occasion.
Although exact figures for the cost of this wedding are not in, it is expected that the Queen will cover the bulk of the costs and the government will contribute to cover security and other expenses. The total cost of the wedding of Prince William’s parents in 1981 was estimated at about $48 million. Whether this wedding will outshine that of Diana and Charles’s is anyone’s guess.
“The London papers have generally been reporting that there will be less money generated and fewer people lining the streets for the royal wedding on April 29 than estimated, but 30 years ago, they severely underestimated how many people would watch Charles and Diana’s wedding,” said Cheryl Anderson Brown, an author of two royal blogs.
Aside from the actual wedding day, the new union will continue to bolster attention on Britain and the royal family as Kate and William will be tracked by reporters and paparazzi for many, many years to come. That attention on the royal couple in itself will generate revenue for small businesses and continue to bolster the visibility of the UK in news and entertainment. Certainly, the BBC has much to be thankful for.