How much will the coronation of Charles III cost in the end? The craziest figures circulate in the British press, the sum of 100 million euros being the most often mentioned, but all the experts agree on one thing: it should end up being much more expensive than that of Elizabeth II in 1953, for which the government had released 1.6 million pounds sterling, or about 50 million euros taking inflation into account.
A shame for Charles, who wanted to play low profile and promised a shorter, more modern and low cost ceremony. It is finally true that few expenses have been swallowed up in the decorum, except for the popular concert which will be given at Windsor Castle, the ordering of special music for the ceremony or the renovation of the ceremonial outfits now marked with the monogram "CIIIR". for Charles III Rex.
The coronation objects exist, the crowns were simply adapted, the ermine-edged coats are recycled, the various carriages are maintained year-round at the Royal Mews, Westminster Cathedral is regularly used for ceremonies of this kind... Not big financial skids on that side.
On the other hand, it is the security post that explodes the bill. Even if the number of guests has been revised downwards – 2,300 instead of 8,000 under Elizabeth II – the risks associated today with a terrorist attack or the act of a madman have nothing to do with see with those of the 1950s… For a little over 24 hours, from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening, central London will become the focal point of the whole world and a center of concentration of heads of state rarely equaled, with the presence of European crowned heads, Presidents of the Republic, Prime Ministers and political leaders of around fifty Commonwealth countries, etc.
What give cold sweats to any Minister of the Interior... Baptized "Golden Orb" by the British services, the coronation mobilizes 11,500 members of the police for 24 hours and nearly 30,000 officers on a week. Central London will be under intense surveillance with rooftop snipers, facial recognition systems, drones to monitor crowds, with no overflight of the capital except for the aerial parade following the final procession.
The special forces are on high alert, ready to intervene by helicopter in the event of a major attack. “There will even be entire CBRN defense units – chemical, bacteriological, radiological and nuclear – across London,” says a specialist in the Mirror, who estimates the final bill could climb to 150 million… Added to this is the bank holiday on Monday, which is expected to cost the British economy several hundred million pounds.
Amounts that obviously make people cringe. The center-left daily The Guardian, known for not sparing the crown, published a vitriolic op-ed by former Liberal Democrat parliamentarian Norman Baker, who believes that the Windsors could dip into their personal fortune to avoid pressurizing the British taxpayers… “Charles says he wants to modernize the monarchy, notes the former parliamentarian. If he's serious, he can start by paying taxes on his mother's massive inheritance – the racehorses, the paintings and the rest. And he can pay for his own coronation. “Before carrying the blow: “The royal palace in Europe which attracts the most tourists is Versailles, and the French got rid of their monarchy in 1848, he recalls. We could probably attract more tourists to Buckingham Palace if the royal family were gone. »
In the end, the British remain winners: between souvenir sales, hotel nights, picnics between neighbors, the influx of tourists and fans in London, the business generated should reach nearly 1.4 billion pounds sterling (i.e. 1.6 billion euros) according to data from the Center for retail research. The hospitality sector is banking on a gain of almost 200 million while sales of mugs, medals, flags and other souvenirs should bring in 246 million... Studies show that the Windsors alone generate around 600 million euros in income each year in the UK. Provided that the dream machine is running.