News about luxurious royal weddings is always successful in attracting the public’s attention. For example, the news of the marriage of the son of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Prince Abdul Mateen and his girlfriend in January 2024, has sparked high enthusiasm from the public. In fact, it is hoped that it will be the most luxurious royal wedding in Southeast Asia.
Starting from stunning wedding dresses, expensive jewelry, wedding cakes made by world-renowned chefs, to luxurious parties, you can’t imagine how much the royals spent to hold such a grand wedding ceremony. On the other hand, holding such a lavish event also involves a lot of other things, including family privacy, managing the crowd and media, catering to dignitaries, and making sure everything runs smoothly.
The following is a list of the most expensive royal weddings ever in the last two decades.
1. Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock
Wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock/Photo: Gettyimages.com/Andreas Rentz
The wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlene Wittstock in 2011 was described as the biggest party in Monaco in 55 years, after the wedding of his parents, Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly. The couple married in a Catholic wedding ceremony in the medieval courtyard of Monaco Palace.
The Daily Mail wrote that the bride looked beautiful in an off-the-shoulder silk dress decorated with 40 thousand Swarovski crystals and 20 thousand mother of pearl from Giorgio Armani Privé. Guests were treated to the sweet voice of Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and dishes from Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. The three-day lavish wedding reportedly cost around US$70 million.
2. Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding/Photo: Gettyimages.com/Chris Jackson
One of the most iconic royal weddings between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 was expensive. The wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales cost a total of around £23.7–30 million, according to Business Insider quoted from The Richest.
Kate wowed the audience wearing a handmade Alexander McQueen lace dress whose tails reached 2.7 meters. The dress itself is estimated to be worth £355 thousand. They also incur huge security costs. The palace later confirmed that the royal family had paid for key parts of the wedding, including the church service, music, flowers, decorations and the reception afterwards.
3. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding/Photo: Instagram.com/meghan.markle.official
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place at St. George at Windsor on May 19, 2018. The lavish wedding was star-studded, with guests including Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, the Beckham family, and George and Amal Clooney. Meghan’s beautiful dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller of Givechy, cost £200 thousand.
Bridebook, a wedding planning website, estimated the total cost of the wedding at around £32 million, most of which was spent on security costs. This figure is even more expensive than William and Kate’s wedding.
4. Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa Al-Hussein
Wedding of Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa Al-Hussein/Photo: Instagram.com/alhusseinjo
The crown prince of the kingdom of Jordan, Prince Hussein, married Saudi noble Rajwa Al-Saif on June 1, 2023, according to Time. The modern royal couple tied the knot in an Islamic wedding ceremony at Zahran Palace in Amman. Rajwa wore a silver tiara and a wedding dress and veil designed by Elie Saab.
Next, the bride and groom followed the procession in the royal car to Husseiniya Palace for a banquet reception. The wedding of the son of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania was also attended by royals and world officials, including US first lady Jill Biden and Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The night before the wedding, on May 31, more than 4 thousand male guests joined the royal palace for a dinner party that showcased Hashemite (Jordanian royal family) culture. The wedding, which was broadcast live on public screens, had an official logo and an online hashtag, #CelebratingAlHussein. To celebrate the occasion, Jordanians were given a two-day national holiday and a free tribute concert was held at the Amman International Stadium.
5. Prince Abdul Malik and Princess Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah
Wedding of Prince Abdul Malik and Princess Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah/Photo: Reuters
Prince Abdul Malik is the son of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hasannal Bolkiah, one of the richest people in the world. The Brunei Prince married Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah in a spectacular wedding ceremony which was held for 11 days on 5–15 April 2015 at the Nurul Iman Palace, Bandar Seri Begawan.
In the ‘Bersanding’ ceremony or wedding reception, the bride and groom sit next to each other on a gold-plated throne. Quoting the Irish Independent, the couple looked harmonious in gold-colored traditional Malay clothing covered in diamonds, where the bride carried a bouquet of jewels.
For her jewelry, the bride wears a stunning tiara, necklace, bracelet, ring, and brooch all made of diamonds and studded with emeralds. She also wore Christian Louboutin heels studded with Swarovski crystals, as well as thick pure gold anklets.
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