The royal wedding celebrations today will see actress Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry but whilst everyone wishes anyone who gets married a happy day and future life together, the royals are afforded treatment that is largely unearned. Estimates have put the overall costs at £32 million to the taxpayer, with around £30 million of it being spent on security alone. Why does the supposed ‘home of democracy’ still fund a royal family [VIDEO] despite money needed elsewhere?

Many people state that the net contributions to the economy of the Royal Family outweigh the costs, yet if it is proven (as it has been) that giving money to people in poverty or out of work is outweighed by the long-term economic benefits, most people are against it as it is unearned.

Economic benefits?

The security operations have grabbed the headlines with it being reported that the Thames Valley Police will undertake the largest security operation in their history and the figure has been quoted at £30 million. This is happening during a period where police numbers have dropped by around 23,000 since 2009 and that it was estimated last year that police budgets will lose £700 million by 2020. Whilst the £30 million is a significantly less figure, it would be used elsewhere or put towards a wider budget. But within the royal wedding budget, the security costs have police overtime included, meaning that the authorities are aware of the lack of police numbers.

The economic benefits are often cited to defend the monarchy but whilst royal weddings provide a short-term boost, in 2011 when William and Kate got married, data from the ONS shows that retail was the biggest winner with sales rising 1.1% month-on-month and separate figures show that the UK received an extra 350,000 visitors in April that year.

According to ONS figures as well, the economy grew by 0.5% in the first three months of 2011 but household spending fell by 0.6% in real terms.

Howard Archer, chief economist advisor for the EY ITEM Club has stated that the economic benefits will likely be short-lived and that whilst retail sales will be boosted and that consumer confidence could be boosted in the short-term, it doesn’t solve the fundamental problems that households are facing. Furthermore, the royal family are a symbol of inherent inequality [VIDEO] and a society that values authoritative order over human freedoms.

Windsor’s rough sleepers

One of the biggest stories was the Conservative council leader at Windsor, he told police to begin removing homeless people before the royal wedding. This underlines his attitude that is held by the majority of elites over people who are homeless. However, after backlash from the public, the council decided it would work with the community and charities to find them temporary accommodation, although they have failed in this endeavour as it has been reported that homeless charities have turned away people to profit off of the council’s involvement.

This is still a short-term solution and they offer no long-term desire to help those who are homeless and vulnerable.

The police have begun asking homeless people to give up their belongings so that they can be put into storage, it is claimed by the authorities that their belongings are only put into storage for safety and that it is entirely voluntary but there are questions over how will those who are sleeping rough cope during the nights around the royal wedding? Around 1,000 demonstrators are expected to descend on Windsor on the eve of the Royal Wedding to take part in a protest aimed at raising awareness of homelessness in the town.

The Ark Project, a homeless charity had their bus impounded by police on Thursday, the double decker bus was a project that was offering to refuge rough sleepers during the royal wedding. The project was set up because of the growing concern that the council weren’t going to rehouse the homeless in Windsor. The bus has 10 beds and offered warm food along with somewhere to sleep and was seized with the police claiming “It was being driven otherwise than in accordance with a licence”.

The police did then state that it would cost £1,500 to get it out and the Charity founder Michael Longsmith, vowed to get it out and drive it straight back down there Friday morning. Mr Longsmith then stated to the Evening Standard that the police originally pulled the bus over for not having a MoT, then after he proved it was exempt moved onto his licence which he has said is appropriate for the vehicle. This does unfortunately seem like the police were looking for any excuse to impound the bus.