LONDON (CBS) – These are tough times as England wrestles with a huge budget deficit. That’s left some people questioning the expense of the Royal Wedding.
Sensitivity was heightened after a chilling scene for the Monarchy this winter, when protestors, angry about budget cuts for higher education torched a car used to transport Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. They also smashed windows and poked at her as riot police pushed back the crowds. Although no one was hurt, the message was clear.
WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.
“I cannot afford to go university,” cried one young woman in the crowd, “and there are lots of us students just like me that cannot go to university
That’s a stark contrast to the crystal being polished at Buckingham Palace. Security alone for the wedding is expected to cost 33 million dollars, leading some to question the expense of the Wedding at this time.
Prince Charles has been quoted saying the couple understands this sentiment, but Boston Event Planner Bryan Rafanelli says some perspective is in order: “ They keep using the word austere, I think it’s a smart thing to do, but on the other side of this, is that this is a moment in time, this is important to England.”
WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben spoke to a British historian about how the wedding will affect British society:
Rafanelli has planned some big wedding for important people, like Chelsea Clinton’s nuptials last summer. He believes this wedding still needs to project the right image for England, the couple, and the Monarchy. “If I’m a British citizen, or citizen of England, I have an expectation, this is like the President and First Lady, there is protocol here that we want to meet, to be proud of this, so we need to be careful about which way we go with the money thing.”
He adds “It should be respectful of the place it is, and I think that everyone will accept this is something that should be on our behalf, and that in fact, this whole country will benefit from this.”
And benefit they will. The Royal Wedding is supposed to provide a tourism windfall with about 80 million dollars expected to be spent in and around London by visitors.