Versailles comes to Windsor

20 May 2018, 20:56

cake

At the risk of coming over all “enemy of the people”, it seems that the more I think about it, the worse it gets. Twenty four hours removed from the event, which was very enjoyable, the reality of it has sunk in.

The generally agreed cost of Hazza and Sparkle's wedding is about £32m, for an advert for the royal family that lasted just over one hour.

That seems quite a lot for what is actually a personal event dressed up as a national occasion

In fact is seems like a dizzyingly large amount of money to splurge on anything that doesn't float or have walls.

The detail of the spending is frankly astonishing.

The cost of the silver plated trumpets, bought specially for the occasion was £90,000. I don't know what the personally engraved harp cost but I am sure they don't come cheap either.

A wedding planning company estimated the cost of the little things that made the day special.

The cake cost £50,000. That is, a sponge and cream creation with frosting on the top that would be gone that night was the same price as a new BMW with all the options ticked on the order form.

Those lovely flowers that adorned the doorway to the chapel would have been about £110,000. You can buy a house in some areas of Her Majesty's realm for less than that.

A glass marquee for the evening reception for the extra special guests with the right invite would have come in at £300,000.

Outside the world's largest occupied castle that has around a thousand rooms, the largest of which is 55m long, they felt the need to add an extra room, for one night only, at the cost of a year's salary for fifteen nurses.

The dress for the glowing bride would have been about £400,000, apparently.

How you can spend even half that much on a white dress that will only ever be worn once for a period of a few hours is unfathomable.

The sausage roll and a cup of tea that were provided for those 2,640 people specially selected to be near the ceremony, but not actually a part of it, were £10 each.

Twenty-six grand on snacks.

The big expense was the security.

We are told the bill for that, which was presented in its entirety to the taxpayer, was over £30m.

Police officers had their leave cancelled and were bussed in from neighbouring forces to supplement those stationed nearby.

There were uniformed police and plain clothed ones and armed response specialists and snipers and all the rest of it. No measure was left untaken to protect the happy couple.

Think of that when you have your home burgled, or your car stolen, or you are mugged or assaulted and the police are reluctant to attend because they don't have the staff due to the massive cuts in their budgets since the policy of austerity began.

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner says she needs an extra 600 officers urgently. The Met has lost £600m of funding since 2011 but there was no such worries about a lack of funds for the grand event.

If you are a criminal, and you could bear to miss the show, it would have been a fantastic time to do a bit of robbing in the south east of England.

Thirty million pounds for security seems a bit steep, but that's not the half of it.

That doesn't include the ceremonial security - the ones on horseback with the gleaming chest plates and bouncy hair helmets.

I do not know how much it costs to run a horse, but I am sure they don't come cheap and neither do the stables they keep them in.

Add to that the non-combatant uniforms and shiny accessories that only ever come out for the royals and the bill must be in the hundreds of millions.

Some of the money was apparently paid from the royals' own pockets.

Let's leave aside that they only have that money because their ancestors took land from the people and gave it to themselves, let's forget that on top of that there is the vast yearly income that we gift them - £82m to the Queen last year alone.

It is not really relevant that the Queen paid for the flowers or that Meghan might have paid for the dress, or that the royals laid on the champagne and the langoustines wrapped in smoked salmon and the grilled asparagus and the quails' eggs for themselves and their friends and celebs.

What is relevant is that while Her Majesty's subjects sleep in doorways, while the NHS is so underfunded that even cancer patients have to wait a year for treatment, while the use of food banks is at an all-time high, while even the middle class find they are only just getting by and after years of lower government spending on essentials like care for people suffering, the family of our head of state is behaving like Marie Antoinette.

Except it is worse than that.

We are not invited to eat cake, we are invited watch THEM eat cake.

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