From Windsor Castle To Windsor Court, Cashing In On Meghan And Harry’s Big Day
By Leslie T. Snadowsky
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official engagement portrait taken at Frogmore House in Windsor by photographer Alexi Lubomirski, official photographer for the royal wedding day.
When American actress Meghan Markle marries Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday, May 19, their wedding will cost 1,000 times more than the average nuptials according to the UK’s premier wedding planning app www.bridebook.co.uk. The ceremony will be held at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, and the reception will take place at Windsor Castle. Bridebook reports Kensington Palace is picking up the $45.8 million dollar tab, of which about $43 million will be used to cover security costs.
The royal wedding’s economic impact in the UK? Consulting firm Brand Finance estimates $1.43 billion including a $408 million bump in tourism; $408 million in public relations value; $340 million in retail and restaurant sales; a $204 million “Meghan effect” on fashion; and $68 million in merchandise.
Across the pond, and a swamp or two, there’s one place in New Orleans where royal revelers can luxuriate in pomp and circumstance at a price worthy of the soon-to-be Duke and Duchess of Sussex. At Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., a Royal Wedding Weekend Getaway, that starts today, Thursday, May 17, and stretches decadently through Sunday, May 20, will cost a whopping $51,918, or 38,325 British pounds.
• Roundtrip, first-class airfare from anywhere in the continental U.S.
• Three nights for up to four people in the expansive 2,780 square foot two-bedroom James J. Coleman, Jr. Presidential Suite that features secluded terraces overlooking the city’s skyline and the Mississippi River, original museum-quality artwork and Italian marble floors, a library, an oversized butler’s pantry and dining room, a full entertainment center and a baby grand piano. The suite will include life-sized cardboard cutouts of Meghan and Harry, a fully stocked bar of premium spirits, including Champagne Bollinger, the first champagne ever to receive the royal stamp of approval, signature Windsor Court floral arrangements throughout the suite, daily butler service and welcome amenities.
• $4,000 hotel credit for food, drinks and spa services
• Friday afternoon ladies’ hat-fitting at a premier local milliner, with a $1,500 credit
• Private shopping experience at Saks Fifth Avenue with a $5,000 shopping credit
• Wedding day champagne breakfast en-suite on Saturday, May 19
• Lemon elderflower wedding cake, covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers, as inspired by the couple’s official selection from California Pastry Chef Claire Ptak, owner of East London-based Violet Bakery
• Chauffeured car service throughout the stay – from arrival to departure
• Traditional afternoon tea service for four, either in Le Salon or en-suite
• A private luncheon and tour of M.S. Rau Antiques, 630 Royal St., where you’ll see The Royal Ice Pail that hails from the Grand Service made for George IV by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell valued at $1.485 million, and the more affordable 15 carat yellow gold cufflinks with hand painted portraits of Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII that were once owned by Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor valued at $88,500.
• Dinner at Arnaud’s, home of the James Beard Award winning French 75 Bar and currently celebrating 100 years of service
• A private tour of Windsor Court’s $8 million, museum-quality art collection of more than 60 artists, many of British origin
The Royal Wedding Weekend Getaway’s crowning glory includes four Mignon Faget King and Queen Goblets for a private wine tasting with Windsor Court’s sommelier, four Waterford Wedding Heirloom Toasting Flutes and four Wedgwood Wild Strawberry tea place settings, which is the Windsor Court’s signature china pattern, for a private tea service en-suite.
Windsor Court will also kick in an exclusive licensed Royal Wedding souvenir.
In case you pass on the $50K+ getaway, Windsor Court’s Polo Club Lounge will host a Royal Wedding Watch Party on Saturday, May 19, from 5:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., complete with a British-inspired breakfast menu, bottomless mimosas, mid-morning tea service and sweet treats inspired by the couple’s official lemon elderflower wedding cake for $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Windsor Court Hotel is also offering a Royal Tea service at Le Salon on Saturday, May 19, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This kid-friendly fête will feature royal décor, life-size cardboard cutouts of Meghan, Harry and the Queen, plus miniature Victoria and lemon elderflower cakes and corgi-shaped cookies, at $49.12 for adults and $35.84 for children, inclusive of tax and gratuity.