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Royal wedding: The people trying to cash in

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Royal wedding: The people trying to cash in

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Thousands of royal enthusiasts will line the streets of Windsor on May 19 to cheer as newly-married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrate their union with a carriage procession.

Also cheering will be the thousands of businesses and individuals who are cashing in on the royal extravaganza.

"GDP growth could increase slightly in the second quarter, with the royal wedding and World Cup kicking off in mid-June," said Howard Archer, chief economist at EY Item Club, an economic forecasting group.

"There could be a temporary increase in retail sales when people buy souvenirs and also tourism."

Pubs:

When big brother — and future king — William got married to his university sweetheart Kate, the government marked the occasion by turning the day into a public holiday.

This time around, the government’s gift to Harry, fifth-in-line to the throne, and his fiance, American actress Meghan Markle, is an extension in pub opening hours. Revellers will, therefore, be able to toast the couple, who get married at lunch time, until 1am in the morning.

This measure will see pubs across the country bring in an additional 10 million, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

Accommodation:

“Visitors from around the world will be arriving to the UK to celebrate the Royal Wedding,” James McClure, UK general manager for Airbnb said in a statement.

“We’re expecting 42,000 guests arrivals in London, bringing in almost 12 million pounds to hosts in the capital,” he added.

In Windsor, Airbnb has seen a 194% increase in guest arrivals compared to from last year.

Some homeowners have obviously been trying to cash in, pushing rental prices to exorbitant prices.

A three-bed house close to the route the royal procession will take, is being advertised for over €4,000 per night during the Royal Wedding weekend.

Airbnb
A Airbnb advert Airbnb

In another advert, a double bedroom is being offered for over €1,000 a night.

Prices are expected to remain high in the following weeks, some still fetching in the hundreds per night.

Souvenirs:

The Royal Collection Trust — a charity responsible for the care and conservation of the Royal Collection — issued the official range of commemorative china celebrating the couple’s union.

Approved by the couple, the collection featuring china in cornflower blue with white detailing has been handmade in Stoke-on-Trent using 250-year-old methods. A plate will set you back 49 pounds and a miniature mug 19.95 pounds. But hey, it’s all for charity.

Retailers have also moved in on the action, pushing out merchandising including commemorative knick-knacks and clothing ranges complete with “Marry Me Harry” t-shirts.

For those wanting to add a bit of bling to their lives, British catalogue retailer Argos is selling a replica of Meghan Markle’s engagement ring, dubbed the Meghan Sparkle, for 14.99.

Argos
A replica of Meghan Markle's engagement ring. Argos

But big retailers are not the only one wanting a slice of the (wedding) cake.

Small entrepreneurs have been flooding craft websites Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet websites with a slew of products to commemorate the occasion — from bunting and t-shirts to mugs, china and games (royal wedding bingo, anyone?). You can also recreate the wedding with crochet dolls of Harry and Meghan.

Film:

Just like Will and Kate before them, Harry and Meghan are getting the Hollywood treatment thanks to American cable television channel Lifetime.

The "Harry & Meghan: the Royal Love Story" movie chronicles the courtship and love story between the British prince and the American actress, from their set up via a mutual friend to the media frenzy that followed the uncovering of their romance.

Lifetime/Associated Press
A scene from Lifetime's "Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance" movie Lifetime/Associated Press

"Everyone that was in the circle, the circle creating the story, felt like they wanted to reflect the hope that can come from people with differences coming together and it really made for, it made it feel like we were doing something important," Parisa Fitz-Henley, who plays Meghan Markle in the movie, told the Associated Press.