The Royal Wedding

The upcoming royal wedding between Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle is expected to give the UK's retail economy a multi-million pound boost. When the prince's older brother William married Kate Middleton in April 2011, the event generated an estimated £107 million in extra spending.

Retailers are confident the latest royal nuptials, on 19th May, will give them a similar boost as royal fans flock to buy wedding souvenirs, while a general "feel good" factor and an influx of tourists will combine to further increase spending.

Pubs too are set to benefit, as Parliament has agreed to extend opening hours, both on the eve of the wedding and on the big day. The British Beer and Pub Association says it expects sales will be around 8% higher than a normal weekend, equating to £20 million.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

How the royal relationship began

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship blossomed into a marriage proposal in November 2017, after they had been dating for 16 months. Initially, the couple decided to keep their relationship under wraps, after meeting in London through mutual friends in the summer of 2016.

However, following their first public appearance together in September 2016, at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, a media frenzy ensued. Prince Harry, 33, proposed to American actress and humanitarian Meghan, 36, on 27th November 2017.

 

Details of the royal wedding

The eyes of the world will focus on historic Windsor Castle for the royal wedding on 19th May, as the couple will tie the knot in St George's Chapel, in the castle's beautiful grounds. Thousands of well-wishers will gather at Windsor to witness the royal spectacle, while street parties are expected to take place across the UK, as the public join in the celebrations and watch a live broadcast of the event on television.

The ceremony will take place at midday - then, at 1pm, after they have taken their wedding vows, the newly-weds will travel through Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage, driving along Castle Hill, Kings Road and Albert Road. They will head back to Windsor Castle for the reception for 800 guests.

Wedding cake traditions

The royal couple are to break with tradition with their wedding cake, bucking the trend of the traditional fruit cake of previous royal weddings. Harry and Meghan have ordered an organic lemon and elderflower cake filled with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. London-based Violet Cakes has been commissioned to create the cake - a great honour for the Dalston bakery.

There are a number of traditions surrounding the royal wedding cake, although Harry and Meghan haven't revealed whether they will follow them or not. Royal couples normally have a second wedding cake - Prince William and Kate Middleton had two cakes at their wedding, including a traditional fruit cake and a groom's chocolate biscuit cake, which is his childhood favourite.

Cake

It is also royal protocol to cut the cake and send it out as gifts, rather than serving it at the reception. Prince William and Kate chose to follow protocol and it was reported how their eight-tier wedding cake was cut into around 4,600 slices, with 4,000 being posted out as gifts.

At some royal weddings, the groom has made the first cut of the cake using a ceremonial sword - again, it is unknown whether Prince Harry will follow this tradition.

Royal watchers are speculating Harry and Meghan won't be "traditional" royals, even after their wedding. Royal commentator Sarah Gristwood has suggested Meghan will continue to have her own voice after the wedding - although of course she has had to give up her acting career.

Although she won't be allowed to comment on anything too political, it is speculated that she will not be expected to be a "silent partner", as so many royal brides have become in the past.

If you're a retailer hoping for a boost as a result of the royal wedding, KAS Shopfittings can help to enhance your retail premises. As a leading UK supplier of shop fittings for a wide range of stores, we can provide card racks suitable for wedding cards and shelving suitable for wedding cakes. We also stock slatwall panels, slatwall gondolas, slatgrid systems and more. Please contact us for information on our wide range of products.

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