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A royal wedding is a marriage ceremony involving a member of a royal family and attracts a lot of media attention. Prince William of England and Kate Middleton’s wedding was no exception. The royal wedding was on 26th April, 2011 and it was the most anticipated event this year worldwide. From the moment Prince Williams proposed to Kate Middleton in Kenya, throughout the whole planning process was an event in its self. Over the years, there have been many Royal weddings from different monarchies around the world. Some notable ones are in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Monaco, Norway and Netherlands.
This royal wedding was dubbed as the biggest media event in history; the wedding overshadowed other world wide events as all were focused on the wedding planning process. A global audience of 2 billion watched the event on television while another 400 million tuned online. It is not just the British media that went crazy over this event, but overseas media were even more into it than British media. The world has had a long fascination for the British monarch and its no wonder the wedding attracted such worldwide interest. Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana’s life and wedding were closely watched by people worldwide and Prince William grew up in that lime light and so when he proposed to Kate the media frenzy began. Their wedding is the biggest event since his mother and Prince Charles of Wales got married in 1981(Price Waterhouse Coopers 2011, pp1).
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in October 2010 in a remote cabin near Mount Kenya. This was after 8 years of dating and was a very private affair, and they kept it a secret for a month before going back to England to tell their families. British royal weddings have had a great impact over the years on wedding and related events trends. Queen Victoria married in 1840 to her love Prince Albert and set the white wedding gown tradition. She was also the first monarch to marry for love; most of the weddings at that particular time were business arrangements between powerful houses to consolidate wealth and power. Princess Elizabeth (The present Queen Elizabeth II) married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten on November 20th 1947. This was not such a grand event as the country was just recovering from the World War II and with the rationing of food and supplies the wedding was not an extravagant affair. 1981 saw the biggest royal wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. It was a fairy tale wedding of the 20th century with a 2 million people lining up besides her carriage to watch the procession. Diana was the first English woman to marry the next inline to the throne for over 300years (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2011, pp1). The wedding has a grand event was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral to accommodate the 3500 guests. Her wedding dress set a trend that influenced wedding gowns for the next decade.
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As with any monarchy, traditions are important parts of which they are, and royal weddings have some traditions that have been passed down. The wedding gown is always a white one since Queen Victoria wedded in a white gown in 1840. She also carried a bouquet of myrtle, which she planted in the Osborne house, and since then every royal bride must have a sprig in her bouquet from the same shrub. The Bouquet is left at the graves of an unknown warrior in the Westminster Abbey to honor the armed forces. All brides have to wear wedding bands with precious welsh gold, mined in North Wales. The brides arrive at the church with horse drawn carriages and the couple chose to ride from the Abbey in the carriage used by Prince William’s parents in 1981. All the wedding ceremonies are Anglican accompanied by prayers, readings and hymns (Hatch 2011, p 6). The ceremony is followed by a wedding breakfast reception, and a sit down meal that is served in the afternoon. The Queen hosted a buffet style wedding breakfast for the royal couple with a fruitcake wedding cake. The royal Wedding lived up to the expectations of many, after months of speculation following the proposal. The wedding
Economic Impact (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2011, pp1).
All large events have an economic impact and the royal wedding is no exception. According to a survey by PWC London benefited from the royal wedding related tourism that made about $ 178 Million with over 500,000 UK residents travelling to central London for the wedding. Store made an estimated $ 80 million in sales of party supplies for parties across the country. They also made about $0.5 million on the royal wedding merchandise and commemorative products such as mugs, pens, reusable bags etc. At the moment of the royal wedding, financial experts predicted that a feel good event like this could lift consumer spending that had hit a new low. The best thing about such an event is that people would be spending from their savings not borrowed money. The tourism industry also received a boost with increased travel bookings between 30-50% and accommodations for people who travelled to central London before thee wedding day. Some tourist organization providers created events around the wedding for those attending or not attending. For example, an event that was set up by welsh cultural group to escape the wedding. The tourism industry also got a long term benefit with more tourists predicted to come to Britain in the next few years. PWC survey reveals that many of workers with the day off took extra holidays (Price Waterhouse Coopers 2011, pp1)
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Some negative impacts of the royal wedding id the amount of taxpayers’ money that was spent on this wedding. As much as the Royal family paid for the wedding spent $10 million was spent on street decorations, security and cleaning up of the royal parks that hosted many people who came to the wedding. The wedding day was a national holiday and the economy was deeply impacted by the loss of productivity in about $6 billion. The media companies also lost revenues from adverting when they had to cover live the wedding ceremony without commercial breaks. They were able to recoup their profits thro sale of their live feeds to other media channels.
The wedding industry witnessed a trendsetter in terms of budget and other aspects of the wedding. The issue of Brides magazine this August featured a model wearing Kate’s replica of dress. A closer look at the different wedding aspects influenced by this even show that a traditional theme of weddings is in vogue (Environ News & Business 2011, p.1). Brides are also opting for larger bridal parties as seen in the royal wedding. Sapphire Jewelry and red Carpets for wedding have risen in sales. Kate’s dress has sett a trend for many wedding dresses to follow. The previous years have seen brides moving away from the traditional wedding gowns, opting for more daring ones, with color and lack of sleeves. The veil that was starting too loose popularity with most brides opting for hair accessories and birdcage veil is back. About 52% of the brides interviewed said they would consider a veil after Kate Worn one to her wedding. The royal wedding has moved back the weddings themes to more formal and traditional. More accessories like faux tiaras are on the rise and use of horse & carriage as wedding transport. For wedding and events planners they are forced to know every detail of the royal wedding as it had a big impact on the brides to be, and they would want to replicate the royal wedding. It has also led to increased spending in the wedding industry by couple wanting royal wedding replicas. There was great speculation about her wedding dress for a very long time, and brides started ordering replicas way before the even saw it. According to Danielle Adrienne, a wedding boutique owner, Kate’s dress will influence the wedding styles of wedding dresses just like Diana’s dictated the 80’s wedding fashion.
The day of the wedding, the social media were a buzz with popular trends on twitter about the wedding and face book status updates. According to ABC news, there were about 2.1 Million tweets about the royal wedding and about 1.77 million status updates on face book. Unlike in 1981 when Princess Diana got married and by the next day people had forgotten about it, the social media kept the wedding alive and enabled world participation and sharing of the moments.
Before her wedding to Prince William she was already setting fashion trends, so with her royal marriage she will have a lot of impact on the fashion industry. The dress she wore in her official engagement photos made the retail shop Reiss and Whistles increased sales. The labels that she wears also get a royal promotion due to the publics’ fascination with the royal family and her obvious sense of style. The designer, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen who designed Kate’s dress was highly paid to keep the details of the wedding dress a secret and the resulting fame are a positive contribution from the royal wedding. The dress made of French Chantilly lace with English Cluny lace had every designer wanting a sketch of it (Environ News & Business 2011, p.1).
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The effects on the environment by the royal wedding were felt, as it left a significant carbon print. The organizers tried to put some eco friendly measures like the limited use of lighting, and wise choice of food and drinks. There was an increased carbon dioxide emission around the Bucking ham palace about 10 times its annual emissions. Most of thee emission came from transport as people came to central London to wait for the wedding and dignitaries from all over the world flew in to attend the wedding. The public using the rail services generated approximately 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
However, the royal wedding impact was lessened by the use of minimal lighting at the palace, by insisting that all lights be switched off at 1230hrs and planting of trees. The food on the menu was sourced from organic foods and ingredients and the cake had free range eggs. The couple urged their guests to plant trees or makes donations to plant trees through their Royal wedding Fund. All the wedding stationery was done on recycled paper, Clarence house made sure of that. The field stewardship council approved all the wood that was used in the construction of media sheds. Prince Charles is very passionate about the environmental issues and he made sure that his son’s wedding would not be a source of a lot of environmental pollution (Environ News & Business 2011, p.1). The planners involved in the planning of the wedding had a lot to handle considering the level of excellence expected for such an event. The management of such an event was to ensure a smooth flow of activities without a hitch as this was a very big media event.