Harry & Meghan's Royal Wedding Cost A Lot More Than William & Kate's

It's been almost five years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed at Windsor Castle. The royal wedding occurred on May 19, 2018, 18 months after the couple announced their engagement (via Town & Country). And, boy, was it one for the history books! According to People, 1.9 billion people from around the world tuned in to witness The Duke and Duchess of Sussex exchange their vows. But it wasn't just the breadth of interest that made the royal couple's wedding special — rather, it was the details of the extravagant day.

Per Reader's Digest, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, broke all kinds of royal protocol for their wedding. For instance, they held the wedding on the weekend, rather than a weekday. Plus, they invited a slew of famous faces, including Meghan's "Suits" co-stars, Oprah Winfrey, and even Elton John — who performed at the reception (via Town & Country). And while much of the day was dictated by royal standards, the pair shook things up a bit by having a Black choir perform a rendition of "Stand By Me" during the ceremony. 

Given the grand affair, it should come as no surprise that Harry and Meghan's wedding cost quite a bit of money. But did you know that it actually cost more than the wedding of William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cost about $39 million

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have left their lives as senior royals behind, per Time. However, they made good use of their time as high-ranking members of the British royal family by pulling out all the stops for their wedding. According to CBS (via Harper's Bazaar), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cost about $45 million. Bridebook, on the other hand, estimated that their wedding cost around £32 million ($39 million).

Of that staggering sum, Meghan's main wedding dress — which was designed by Givenchy — accounted for at least $265,000 of the budget, according to Vanity Fair. And if Bridebook's estimates are correct, then Harry and Meghan spent another £50,000 ($60,000) on their cake and £286,000 ($348,000) on catering. In comparison, Prince William and Kate Middleton spent slightly less on their nuptials. According to Express, the Prince and Princess of Wales spent about £30 million ($36 million) on their wedding, which took place on April 29, 2011. Like the Duchess of Sussex, Kate's dress was quite expensive, coming in at around £250,000 ($305,000).

Most of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding budget went to security

Let's face it: The British royals are some of the most recognizable figures on the planet. While their widespread visibility invites the support and admiration of people from all over the world — especially on their wedding days — it also puts them in danger of those who may want to harm them. Because of this, most royal weddings set aside a substantial part of their wedding budget for security. This was the case with the wedding of William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales. 

According to the Mirror, Prince William and Kate Middleton spent £6.35 million ($7.75 million) on police escorts for their wedding. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent even more on the security details for their wedding. According to CNBC, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent about 94% of their roughly $40 million wedding budget on security. So, while it may pay to be a royal, it also costs — a lot.