King Charles III's Coronation Ceremony Is Set to Cost More Than His Royal Wedding to Princess Diana

The crowning service has a reported price tag of up to $125 million.

King Charles attending royal race in England

Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 6, 2023, King Charles III will officially take over the throne during his coronation, an event that has been highly anticipated and reported on since Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September of 2022. For the historic affair, Britain is going all out by hosting a three-day celebration filled with street parties, a concert in Windsor Gardens, the crowning ceremony at Westminster Abbey, and a procession for the king. In typical royal fashion, the lavish affair comes with a hefty price tag. According to reports from the BBC, the coronation will cost anywhere from $63 million to $125 million. 

King Charles and Princess Diana riding in carriage after royal wedding in 1981

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

To put that into context, the grand total of the crowning ceremony is set to be more expensive than Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana in 1981, which is considered to be one of the most costly nuptials of all time. The couple’s royal affair was $48 million, which is close to $110 million today, according to CBS. At $615,000, security was the biggest expense on the bill, Hello reports. Lady Di’s dress was another component that increased the bill, which is estimated to have cost her $115,000, Town & Country Magazine says.

The coronation will also amount to more than some of the other biggest royal weddings in history. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in 2018, their grand celebration cost about $45 million, CBS reported at the time. About $40 million of that amount went to security, such as rooftop snipers and undercover police in the streets. In 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, and their nuptials at Westminster Abbey amounted to $34 million, according to CNBC. The couple also spent most of that money on security: $32 million of the bill, the outlet noted. Kate’s Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown alone was $434,000.

According to CNBC, King Charles said his coronation will be “smaller, less expensive, and more representative” than past coronations. About 2,000 guests will attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony, which is less than Queen Elizabeth’s crowning the ceremony—the last coronation—in 1953. Plus, the process will last an hour, not several hours, like the late monarch’s. But Charles’ coronation will have a bigger price tag than the former queen's. When Elizabeth took over the throne, the coronation cost about $2 million at the time, which is about $25 million today. 

The United Kingdom’s government and the British taxpayers will fund the event, with Buckingham Palace contributing to the total bill, CNBC reports. According to a YouGov poll, more than half of the responders said the government should not fund the coronation. The government, however, believes that the function will bring in millions of dollars for businesses in the tourism, hospitality, and retail sectors, the outlet notes, which will help boost the dip in the economy.  

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