This weekend, presidents, princes, princesses, and a few lucky commoners will gather in London to watch an event unfold that happens once in a generation: the coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. The festivities are expected to attract millions to the city, and the planning of the weekend has been in the works for years. Such a grand occasion begs the question: how much does all of this pageantry cost?!
While officially numbers have not been released, experts estimate that the three-day celebration will cost between $50 and $100 million. Talk about a pricey party! The total is a big increase over the cost of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, which rang in at $1.5 million. Believe it or not, footage of the entire ceremony from 70 years ago is available to the public:
But where, exactly, are those funds coming from? While Royal weddings are paid for by the deep-pocketed royal family, this weekend’s nine figures of fun will be covered by British taxpayers – sort-of. Everyone on this weekend’s payroll will be paid out of an unusual bank account to rule all bank accounts called the “Sovereign Fund.”
That fund is a trust of sorts, one that technically belongs to the British taxpayers, but was set up to collect interest gained from the Royal family’s vast collection of land and assets. As of 2022, the Sovereign Fund held $97 million. Not too shabby for a bank account that’s typically used to pay gardeners, travel agents, and other Royal life expenses. Here’s how Britain’s Sky News explained the funds earlier this year:
So what, exactly, is all of that money going toward? A major chunk of it is being devoted to security, which explains how Charles’s coronation will cost so much more than his mother’s, despite having a guest list of 2,200 dignitaries (comparted to 8,200 for Queen Elizabeth.)
One last fun fact: the party-planning organization in charge of all of this planning, budgeting, and spending? Operation Golden Orb. Talk about a fancy party.