Fri, November 19, 2010
Video > News/Media > Prince William engaged

Britain benefits from royal wedding

2010-11-19 07:39:08 GMT2010-11-19 15:39:08 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Just days after Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton was announced - they've already made it on to a souvenir plate.

Production of memorabilia is well underway at this pottery in England - and the souvenirs will be on sale by Christmas.

William gave Kate the engagement ring which once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.

And a New York jeweller has already created a copycat version of the sapphire and diamond ring.

SOUNDBITE: Michael Arnstein, President of the Natural Sapphire Company, saying (English):

"The story broke at noon that Kate Middleton had received Princess Diana's engagement ring and our phones started ringing off the hook and our server and our website crashed shortly there after."

When the ceremony takes place, Britain will be in the middle of tough spending cuts.

And few expect it to be quite as lavish as when the Prince's parents married in 1981.

SOUNDBITE: Irene Murphy, Tourist from Devon, saying (English):

"They're a sensible couple so I think they will do it on not too big a scale."

SOUNDBITE: Florence Murphy, Passer-by, saying (English):

"It would just be too over the top to have a really lavish wedding at the moment."

In fact, Royal representatives have said the couple are aware of the economic situation - and it's been reported Prince Charles and the Queen could cover some of the costs.

Even if it's been suggested the taxpayer might have to pay the security bill.

Britain's tourist agency VisitBritain predicts the wedding will give some timely help to the British economy.

SOUNDBITE: Joss Croft, Regional Director Europe, VisitBritain, saying (English):

"We already know that when visitors come to Britain, they spend around 500 million pounds a year around our royal attractions, whether they're our castles, or whether it's the retail outlets . It's about 500 million pounds a year. Now we don't know exactly what it's going to be for 2011 but one could anticipate this is an absolutely huge opportunity."

So come next year, British companies hope it won't just be wedding bells which are ringing, but cash registers too.

Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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