The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding demonstrated the power of strong brand persona. More than a billion dollars was made over the course of the last week. The royal family maintains carefully cultivated branding and PR persona.

There is no greater asset to the United Kingdom’s weakening economy than the Royal Family at this moment in 2018.

The Brand Financial Journal (BFJ) states: “The Monarchy … is making a significant contribution to the task of driving Britain out of recession”.

The gorgeous clothes, decorations, pomp, jewelry, arrangements, staff, attendees… Let’s crunch some numbers shall we?

What did the Royal wedding cost?

  • £30million on security measures
  • £10 million on the dress, cake, flowers, glass marquee, food and drinks etc.

The taxpayers have footed that whopping security bill. But…

How much did the Royal wedding generate?

  • Tourism £300 million
  • PR Value £300 million
  • Retail and Restaurants £250 million
  • Fashion £150 million
  • Merchandise £50 million

That’s a sweet total of £1.05 billion.

How does the Royal brand do it?

The brand’s consistent PR effort and media presence has ensured that any event in the Royal Household (Weddings, Births, Jubilees etc.) brings in a huge stimulus to the economy. This is in the form of tourism, commerce, hospitality, manufacturing and many other brand-value dependent avenues that we can’t even fathom.

The recent Harry & Meghan wedding saw a whole bunch of merchandise crop up. From official royal collectibles to unofficial royal wedding memorabilia to the downright weird stuff.

Official Royal Collectibles

Commissioned exclusively by Buckingham Palace, the official Royal Wedding china include:

  • Miniature coffee mug (£19.95)
  • Coffee mug (£25.00)
  • Pillbox (£35.00)
  • Tankard (£39.00)
  • Plate (£49.00)

The Unofficial Royal Wedding merch

Unofficial, fun merchandise was available online causing manufacturers to make a pretty penny off the Royal brand. This Royal Engagement Fridge Magnet appeared on eBay just hours after the Engagement announcement at $3.

The downright weird stuff: (This I particularly enjoyed researching)

Harry & Meghan comic book that details how they met and fell in love.

Harry & Meghan condoms. Yup, you read that right. Tastefully named “Crown jewels”, no less.

Is there anything more British than Marmite? Here are Harry and Meghan named Vegemite jars.

The Beloved Princess

The days of the Royal family being seen as snooty and closed-off are over. And they might owe their new image to Princess Diana who showed them the value of public likeability and support.

Princess Di, in her own way, understood branding and brand persona better than most. She was able to challenge the Royal Family only because of overwhelming support from the public. The death of the “Peoples’ Princess” caused the Royal family, especially the Queen, to become exceedingly unpopular.

The Matriarch of the most valuable Royal brand

Following Princess Diana’s death, the Queen was seen to be making reparations by lowering the flag over the palace. She then walked out of the gates with her grandchildren to look at the cards and flowers left for the Princess by a grieving public.

The Queen bent her head to the Princess’s casket when it passed her during the funeral procession. These august gestures caused the people to fall in love with their Queen again.

Queen Elizabeth is pretty smart too. She has managed to keep the Royal brand alive (and thriving) for over 70 years. Do you know the names of Mick Jagger’s grandkids? Nope.

The Meghan Effect

A brand marketer’s dream, the very sight of Ms. Meghan Markle endorsing a brand by wearing it seems to increase its value. The Strathberry website crashed when she was photographed carrying one of their bags.

How many brands from the United Kingdom can benefit from this American actress turned British Royal? The numbers are astounding. In the future, she will be seen selling UK bags, jewellery, clothes and luxury goods.

The Duchess gets it

Kate Middleton enjoyed her share of the limelight and brings in millions in economic growth. Her wedding and the birth of each of their children helps the UK economy immensely. The brand lives on, thanks to William and Kate having had their third child earlier this year.

What’s the brand’s bottom line?

The Monarchy costs the taxpayer close to £300 million, every year. That’s a little over 1p per person per day.

The Monarchy brings in £550m a year in tourism and £150m a year in trade.

This brand is valuable and here to stay. I would bet £350 million on that.