William, Kate get down to details

Royal knot: No lavish event as couple mindful of economic situation

William, Kate get down to details

 Mom’s ring: Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for the media at St James’ Palace in London on Tuesday after announcing their engagement. Middleton is wearing the same ring that Princess Diana wore for her engagement with Prince Charles (right). APPrince William and Kate Middleton were sitting down with advisers on Wednesday to begin planning the royal wedding that some Britons have waited years to see — as the media settled in for months of juicy speculation.

The second in line to the throne and his long-term girlfriend will marry next spring or summer, but they haven’t announced a date — some say May is likely, others August — or a venue. Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, where William’s parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana married in 1981, are considered the front-runners.

A royal spokesman said the couple would be closely involved in organising all the details. “It’s very much their day like any other couple, and they will make the decisions all the way through.”

Palace officials said only that the wedding would be held in London. It was too early to estimate its cost or how much the taxpayer will have to stump up — a touchy issue at a time of widespread budget cuts and austerity measures.

Financial constraints

“I don’t think it’s going to be as big, because of constraints, financial constraints, around the country now. I don’t think the royal family will want to be seen, you know, having a big lavish wedding,” said Brenda Taylor, a 71-year-old retiree.

The spokesman for William’s office said “the couple are mindful of the current economic situation.” He stressed the wedding would not be a state occasion — unlike the wedding for Charles and Diana — because William is not the sovereign or the heir to the throne.

Funds will likely come out of the Civil List — money provided by Parliament to meet official royal expenses, the queen’s household allowance, or drawn from her personal wealth.
William said he had given Kate his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring as a way of making Diana part of his special day. “I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all. This was my way of keeping her close to it all.”

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