Imagine if U.S. taxpayers were forced to foot the bill for White House weddings.
As pictures of Prince William and his future wife Kate Middleton circulate the Internet and headline publications around the world, many Brits already are wondering how much the royal wedding is going to cost them.
Royal weddings are typically paid for by the British taxpayer. But given the gloomy economic climate, there are already calls for Prince Charles to foot the entire bill for the wedding from his personal fortune, according to a BBC report.
When former first daughter Chelsea Clinton got married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky earlier this year, it was a spared-no-expense affair. The Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding was estimated to cost as much as $5 million.
And even though the American taxpayers didn't contribute a penny, many citizens still gawked and criticized the Clintons for spending too much at a time when the nation is battling serious financial woes.
Today, the prince and his bride-to-be will sit down with royal advisers to begin planning their big day, which is scheduled for some time next year. If Prince William follows in his father's footsteps - when he married Lady Diana 30 years ago - the bill could cost $50 million.
Mark Niemierko, a luxury wedding planner based in London, told the BBC he doesn't expect the royal family to be overly ostentatious.
"For sure they'll probably go all out for the ceremony, and amazing ceremony that I'm sure thousands of people will be invited to - which the nation will need and want," Niemierko said. "But I also feel there'll be more intimate aspects to their wedding day for sure."
A royal spokesman has been quick to say the couple will be "mindful of the economic situation" as they plan their big day.