Did Meghan Markle’s Wedding Cost More Than Kate Middleton’s?

Meghan Markle joined the family when she married Prince Harry in a lavish ceremony in May of 2018. The wedding was viewed by millions of people around the world and has since drawn comparisons to Kate Middleton and Prince William’s gorgeous wedding inside Westminster Abbey in 2011. Both of the weddings were extravagant events by any standards and cost the royal family millions of dollars, but which ceremony was more expensive?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Photo by Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Images

How much did Kate Middleton’s wedding cost?

Middleton and William tied the knot inside Westminster Abbey in 2011. Their wedding is estimated to have run over $26 million, though an official record of the costs has never been revealed. The Duchess of Cambridge rocked a custom dress for the occasion that was designed by Sarah Burton.

The elaborate gown featured a fitted bodice, lace sleeves, and a train that was close to 10 feet in length. When everything was said and done, the dress probably cost well over $250,000, well beyond the average bride’s budget.

Kate Middleton borrowed an expensive tiara called the Cartier halo from Queen Elizabeth’s jewelry collection. The tiara is estimated to be worth anywhere between $750,000 and $1.3 million. As far as flowers as concerned, Middleton’s budget was a whopping $800,000.

William and Middleton also had to pay for security at the event, which cost them millions of dollars. Middleton’s family paid for a lot of the wedding expenses as did the royal family. The majority of security costs were taken care of by Queen Elizabeth.

How much did Meghan Markle’s wedding cost?

Considering how much money Middleton and William forked over for their ceremony, fans might think Markle’s wedding was less expensive. After all, Harry is much further down the line to inherit the crown and William will become the King of England someday. But, turns out, Markle’s wedding actually cost slightly more than Middleton’s ceremony.

According to Express, the former actress’s wedding cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $35.7 million. Even with inflation, Meghan Markle’s ceremony was more expensive than Middleton’s by a long shot. So why was Markle’s wedding bill higher?

For starters, Markle’s dress was a bit pricier than Middleton’s gown. The dress, which featured long sleeves and a satin design, was worth over $400,000 and was made by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller. Markle’s tiara, meanwhile, is priced at upwards of $2 million, while the catering, cake, and floral services are thought to have cost close to $500,000. Once again, Markle borrowed the tiara out of Her Majesty’s vault.

By far, the most expensive portion of the ceremony was the extra security detail. The royal family paid for the majority of the costs of the wedding, which is not all that surprising given the exorbitant costs.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

There is little doubt that the cost of Markle and Middleton’s weddings were off the charts, but they are not the most expensive ceremonies in recent times. In fact, their nuptials are not the most expensive in the royal family, though they do rank in the top ten list of the most expensive weddings of all time.

At the top of that list are Prince Charles and Princess Diana Spencer, who spent an astounding $70 million on their wedding. The couple tied the knot in the summer of 1981 in what was dubbed as the wedding of the century. Once again, the biggest expense of Charles and Diana’s wedding was security, which cost the royal family upwards of $600,000. After inflation, this amounts to close to $1.7 million.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

But even Charles and Diana’s wedding pales in comparison to when Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tied the knot with Princess Salama. Nahyan, the prince of Abu Dhabi, built a new stadium for his wedding that fit over 20,000 people. The ceremony also lasted seven days in what might be the most lavish wedding in modern times.

At the end of the day, Nahyan spent somewhere around $100 million for the ceremony, which easily takes the prize for the most expensive wedding and puts Meghan Markle’s wedding costs into perspective.