Meghan Markle’s wedding dress will be on public display at Windsor Castle this fall, and if her sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s dress exhibit is any indication, tens of thousands of viewers will pay a princely (heh) sum to see it.
As The Daily Mail reports, although it’s unofficial as of this writing, royal sources say that the £200,000 ($255,000) Givenchy wedding gown will be on display at the royal residence within a couple of months. Possibly being displayed along with the gown, says Elle, will be the diamond tiara Meghan wore on her wedding day. The tiara was personally given to her by Queen Elizabeth, having belonged to her (Elizabeth’s) grandmother; it was made in 1932, with the brooch at its center having been created in 1893.
There’s a precedent for women who marry into the Royal Family to put up their wedding gowns on public display i royal residences. In 2011, according to Cosmopolitan, Meghan’s sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, put her own wedding dress, a £250,000 ($319,000) Alexander McQueen gown, on public display at Buckingham Palace. An estimated 350,000 people came to see it in its first six weeks alone – almost 8,000 per day!
However, rather than at Buckingham Palace, the dress will be displayed at Windsor Castle, the Royal Family’s private country residence in Berkshire.
Did you know that William the Conqueror chose the site for Windsor Castle? Construction of the Castle began in 1070 & finished 16 years later. The King chose the site due to Windsor's easy access to London & its proximity to a royal hunting forest (BasPhoto/Shutterstock) pic.twitter.com/lvVqAGvRze
— The Crown Chronicles (@crownchronicles) August 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry’s “brand” has done wonders for the Royal Family’s tourism industry.
In 2017, Windsor Castle had 1.2 million visitors, a record year for the centuries-old castle. And although official 2018 numbers aren’t out yet, word on the street is that ticket sales are up 92 percent over last summer, making a second record-breaking year for the royal residence. And that’s even without Meghan’s dress being on public display.
— jungle emperor (@mamadi56) August 5, 2018
Of course, if you go to visit Windsor Castle, you’ll see more than just the Duchess of Sussex’ wedding dress. According to the Royal Trust, which manages the Royal Family’s residences, says that if you go, you’ll be within the walls of the oldest continually-occupied castle in the world.
“No trip to Windsor could possibly be complete without a visit to amazing Windsor Castle, the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years. The size of the Castle (5 hectares/13 acres) is breath taking, in fact it is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and it’s where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends.”
And if you’re extra lucky, you may even get to visit the castle while the Queen is there (although don’t get your hopes up on seeing her).
A visit won’t be cheap, however. An adult ticket costs £21.20 (about $27).
The Royal Trust expects to make an official statement on whether or not Meghan Markle’s wedding dress will be put on display some time later this summer.