Along with millions of people around the world, the team at GBPensions are donning their posh frocks and fancy hats and sitting down on Saturday night (NZ time) to watch the wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales to Ms Meghan Markle.
And, of course, we all wish Harry and Meghan many years of health and happiness together.
At this time, it seems like a good excuse to share a few facts and figures about previous royal weddings.
Royal wedding radio and television audiences
The marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth to Phillip Mountbatten on 20th November 1947 was not broadcast on television, but had a worldwide radio audience of 200 million.
Princes Margaret’s marriage to Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 was the first royal wedding to be televised, and attracted an estimated 20 million viewers.
More than 500 million tuned in for Princess Anne’s wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973, making it the most watched special event on a single channel (at the time).
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 had more than 750 million viewers.
One estimate puts the audience for Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s nuptials at 2 billion. Whilst this may be slightly dubious, what is certain is that 36 million people in the UK alone watched at least some of the ceremony, and there were more than 72 million watching on YouTube live streams.
Harry and Meghan are tying the knot in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, which is also where Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. Theirs has been described as a relatively casual and intimate ceremony, but even this attracted more than 200 million viewers.
Will she, won’t he…?
Diana Spencer was the first royal bride to omit “obey” from her Book of Common Prayer wedding vows. Kate Middleton did likewise.
Prince Charles does wear a wedding band. Prince William does not.
The estimated cost of the royal wedding
Wedding planners Bridebook have done the sums and reckon that Harry and Meghan’s big day could cost £32 million, the vast majority of this being for security (which they put at £30 million). Other “highlights” include:
Venue and marquee £350,000
Bride’s dress £300,000
This seems rather austere, however, when compared to the wedding of Margaret of York to Charles the Bold of Burgundy in 1468. The celebrations apparently included endless parades and a four-day jousting tournament, and cost the modern-day equivalent of US$200 million.