A Right Royal Profit!

Harry and Meghan’s spectacular wedding grabbed headlines all around the world  It was the perfect fairy tale.  Although she was no Cinderella, Meghan; in many ways an ordinary American girl, fell in love with a charming handsome English prince.  It was the stuff of Hollywood, only it was real life.

Just a thought, and I am not particularly a royalist nor a republican although I have grown to appreciate the role the royal family play in ‘Brand Britannia’

The Sun claimed that the wedding of Harry and Meghan cost a whopping £32m [1].   I am not a Sun reader, but it was the first figure I found online. Whether this is accurate or not let’s work with this figure.

As with most things, it is not as straightforward as the headline suggests.  It was not that simply £32m was deducted from the public coffers and the poor long suffering taxpayer was exploited for a royal indulgence.  Why couldn’t they pay for their own wedding I hear socialists and republicans alike cry.

Much of the money spent would have gone on catering, florists, stylists, tailors, seamstresses and goodness knows what else.  This money didn’t just disappear.  It was spent supporting business and employment.  Not only this but these expenses incurred taxes.

Firstly, staff will have paid tax on their earnings using the simple PAYE [2] basis.  To the layman this is as though I gave £5 and got £1 back.  Assuming that staff costs amounted to a quarter of all costs the government claimed through PAYE approx £1.5m and this hasn’t even taken into account National Insurance receipts.

Suddenly it doesn’t sound so bad.

Secondly companies pay tax on profits, and not all of them behave like Amazon, Facebook or Starbucks. More money returned to the coffers.  It would be impossible to speculate as to how much, but it would be a significant amount that would be increased by the fact that a lot of these companies will also have paid net VAT (those whose turnover qualifies) on almost everything that was invoiced.

Then less directly there is the through trade particularly in Windsor and profits and taxes from wedding memorabilia – even if most of it is tacky (in my opinion). Profits for companies, taxes for the government, and horrible ornaments, mugs and other chintz for the general public.

Now – if you are still with me – there are the television revenues. It was truly a global wedding with worldwide audiences. Do you think each country had cameras in the chapel?

No – they paid for those rights. Let’s assume the big three in Britain (BBC. ITV, Sky – although we may wish to forget about SKY) had cameras in place.

I am sure other nations had cameras around but outside and probably just doing ‘piece to camera’ sets with journalists.

These international networks will have paid for the rights to broadcast. More money for UK broadcasters, more taxable income,

I don’t know it may just be that the government made a profit on the wedding and maybe even enough to put decent cladding on every tower block in the country to avoid another Grenfell.

Just a thought…

Now who is the next Royal we can get married off.


[1] The Sun Online – How Much did the Royal Wedding Cost

[2] Pay As You Earn – Income Tax