The 16 Most Expensive Royal Weddings Around the World

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SOLEMN WOWS

The average American wedding costs more than $33,000. But there's nothing average about royalty -- or the parties they throw when they get married. From 15th century celebrations of love to the much-hyped upcoming marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, the world loves to revel in the drama, pageantry, and gushing excess of riches that make royal weddings, well, royal. (Even if modern couples tend to look for ways to cut expenses.) Estimated totals are given in today's dollars.
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PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE

Expected Cost: $45 million
In one of the most eagerly anticipated weddings in recent royal memory, actor Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are set to marry May 19 at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The wedding is expected to cost $45 million, according to Bustle. Most of that tab, which will be picked up by Kensington Palace, will be spent on security.

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MARGARET OF YORK AND CHARLES THE BOLD OF BURGUNDY

Estimated Cost: $323 million
Perhaps the most lavish weddings in royal history took place in 1468, when Charles the Bold of Burgundy exchanged vows with Margaret of York. Festivities included the continent's most celebrated knights gathering to compete in four days of jousting competitions.

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PRINCE RAINIER OF MONACO AND GRACE KELLY

Estimated Cost: Unknown
Even after 60 years, the fairytale marriage between Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco is "still the world's most glamorous wedding," according to the Daily Mail. Although the exact cost of "the epic, two-week event" is unknown, the Daily Beast estimates "tens of millions" of dollars went into the globally celebrated April 1956 union of the prince and the famous Hollywood actress, who wore a ring with a 12-carat diamond and a dress that took 36 seamstresses three weeks to make.

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SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM AND SHEIKHA HIND BINT MAKTOUM BIN JUMA AL MAKTOUM

Estimated Cost: More than $100 million
The marriage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai and his first cousin Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum in April 1979 is probably one of the only weddings in history to feature 127 camel races in the desert. The affair also included the display of more up-to-date vehicles -- namely an air display by the jets of the Dubai Police Force Air Wing.

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SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN AND PRINCESS SALAMA

Estimated Cost: $270 million
Big names deserve big weddings, and the 1981 nine-figure celebration of love between Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Princess Salama took place at a 20,000-seat stadium, making for the highest-priced wedding in modern royal history.

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PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER

Estimated Cost: $70 million
Diana Spencer took vows on July 29, 1981, that would catapult her to the status of one of history's most beloved ladies. The woman who would become Princess Diana married Prince Charles in what the British press dubbed "the wedding of the century."

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PRINCE ANDREW DUKE OF YORK AND SARAH FERGUSON

Cost: Unknown
The July 1986 wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had a half-billion person guest list -- if you include the 500 million people who watched the event on TV. The cost of the wedding is unknown, but the soon-to-be Duchess of York arrived to the ceremony in a glass carriage straight out of "Cinderella."

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CROWN PRINCE PAVLOS OF GREECE AND MARIE CHANTAL MILLER

Estimated Cost: $13 million Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece married Marie Chantal Miller in a July 1995 wedding that the Daily Mail said boasted a guest list with "more royals than the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer." The wedding venue was decorated with 100,000 flowers imported from Ecuador.

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KING MOHAMMED VI OF MOROCCO AND SALMA BENNANI

Cost: Unknown
When King Mohammed married a computer engineer in March 2002, the country was shocked by the number of traditions that were broken. First, the king's commoner wife received an actual royal title, which went against custom -- as did the fact that she was the king's only wife, unlike his father, who maintained a harem. The event, which cost "tens of millions" of dollars, according to the Daily Beast, included 1,500 guests, 1,400 horsemen, and the freeing of 8,000 prisoners. The couple, however, recently divorced.

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PRINCE FELIPE OF SPAIN AND LETIZIA ORTIZ ROCASOLANO

Estimated Cost: $31.2 million
The 18,000 soldiers and police officers deployed to guard the Senora de la Almudena in Madrid was just part of the reason this May 2004 wedding cost so much. But just the flowers planted across the city in celebration cost $1.3 million in today's dollars.

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PRINCE AL-MUHTADEE BILLAH AND SARAH SALLEH

Estimated Cost: $5.3 million
The son and heir to the Sultan of Brunei was married in September 2004 at the Nurul Iman Palace, followed by a grand parade described by the Daily Mail as featuring the prince in a gold Rolls-Royce stretch limo with a marching band in front and 103 limousines following.

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VICTORIA OF SWEDEN AND DANIEL WESTLING

Estimated Cost: $3 million
Swedish Crown Princess Victoria married an athletic trainer named Daniel Westling, and the June 2010 marriage between a commoner and a primary member of a 1,000-year-old royal court triggered a media frenzy The Christian Science Monitor called "the biggest palace love story since British Prince Charles and Diana tied the knot in 1981." The party involved 8,000 soldiers, and rose-lined streets.

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PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON

Estimated Cost: $37.7 million
When Kate Middleton married Prince William in April 2011, the dress worn by the princess cost more than $400,000 -- just part of the price tag for what was billed as "the wedding of the 21st century." All but $2.2 million of that tab went to security.

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PRINCE ALBERT II AND CHARLENE WITTSTOCK

Estimated Cost: $87.4 million
At one point, Charlene Wittstock was an Olympic swimmer. When she married Prince Albert II in July 2011, however, she became the Princess of Monaco. The lavish wedding ceremony hosted 800 guests that included some of the world's richest, most famous and elite members of high society.

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PRINCESS HAJAH HAFIZAH SURURUL BOLKIAH AND PENGIRAN HAJI MUHAMMAD RUZAINI

Estimated Cost: $21.8 million
The daughter of the Sultan of Brunei was married in a September 2012 wedding that outdid even the party thrown for a male heir to the throne eight years earlier. One expert told Yahoo News to estimate that $1,000 might be spent for each of the 2,000 guests.

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ABDUL MALIK AND DAYANGKU RAABI'ATUL 'ADAWIYYAH PENGIRAN HAJI BOLKIAH

Cost: Unknown
In April 2015, the Sultan of Brunei threw yet another wedding celebration for yet another potential heir to the throne. This time, his son Abdul Malik married a data analyst destined to become a princess. Although the price of the wedding is unknown, it featured matching gold outfits decorated with diamonds, a bouquet made of gems instead of flowers, jewel-encrusted shoes, and royal guards with spears and shields.

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