It’s perhaps the most anticipated wedding of the year. When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot May 19, it’s going to be a spectacle, to be certain. But while the gorgeous couple gets showered with all the attention, the UK stands in the shadows, giggling like a schoolgirl over the thought of raking in 500 million pounds during the festivities (that’s about $686 million).
Reuters reports the country is expected to see a major boost to its economy thanks to the flocking of tourists who want to get as close as they can to the matrimonial action.
Citing the Office for National Statistics., they point out that an additional 350,000 visitors flocked to the UK in April 2011 when William and Kate exchanged vows. A similar surge is expected this time around.
Chief executive David Haigh of the business valuation consultancy Brand Finance tells Reuters, “We think approximately 200 million pounds will come from tourism, travel, hotels” with another 150 million from parties and about 50 million from sales of commemorative T-shirts, hats and other items.
As for the wedding itself, Haigh says the Royal event will be worth about 100 million pounds in free international advertising for Britain.