This Is the $372m Wedding Venue Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Be Married
The wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle is now set. It’s planned to be held in May at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the palace announced on Tuesday.
The arrangements were made public at a briefing at Buckingham Palace the day after the prince, 33, and Markle, 36, shared news of their engagement.
“Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms. Markle have regularly spent time there during the last year,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said in a statement. “They are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives as a married couple.”
Markle is already going through the process of becoming a British citizen.
Unlike his brother William, who married Kate Middleton in April 2011 in Westminster Abbey, Harry will marry Markle at Windsor, a royal residence about 22 miles from central London and the preferred weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II. Harry’s father Prince Charles married Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at St. George’s in April 2005. (And rather morbidly, the Queen is expected to be interred in a tomb in the chapel when such an event comes to pass, according to a recent Guardian report.)
The market value of the Windsor estate—which spans 15,800 acres and includes Windsor Great Park, the Home Park of Windsor Castle, forests, residential and commercial properties, golf courses, a racecourse, and farms—is estimated at £280.8 million, or about $372 million, per the Crown Estate, which manages property on behalf of the royal family. (That’s a mere fraction of the value of Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s primary residence in London, which real estate agents estimate to be about £2.2 billion, or nearly $3 billion.)
More than five million tourists visited the Windsor estate last year, generating profits of about £700,000, or $932,000. Windsor is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, according to the Royal Collection Trust, which cares for the British royal residences, and has been the family home of British royalty for almost 1,000 years.
Unsurprisingly, the British royal family is foremost a business. Though the royals extract their income in part directly from the British government, they also generate some through private investments, helping support their lofty net worths (and pricey jewelry investments). They’ll need every penny: the security for William and Kate’s nuptials alone cost an estimated $32 million. The wedding of Harry and Markle is expected to lead to a boost in tourism to the U.K. as well as a bump in sales for any products or services used by the starry couple.