Expert says Meghan Markle's claim her wedding earned UK £1bn 'doesn’t sound realistic at all'

EXPERTS cast doubt on Meghan’s claim that her and Harry’s wedding earned the UK £1billion in tourism.

The Duchess’ incredible remark comes in new papers filed in her High Court privacy battle.

She insisted the May 2018 bonanza helped Britain to a windfall that “far outweighed” the £3.4million her team say taxpayers paid for police and security.

The explosive court papers also reveal Meghan claims she felt “unprotected” by the “institution” of the Royal Family while pregnant with baby Archie.

And she says she felt unable to defend herself against false claims made about her. The documents also say pals were “deeply worried for her mental health”.

The papers say the estimated £3.4million contribution of public funds “towards crowd security was far outweighed by the tourism ­revenue of over one billion pounds sterling that was generated from the Royal wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex which went directly into the public purse”.

But brand expert Andy Barr, of PR firm 10Yetis, said: “£1billion total revenue for a royal wedding doesn’t sound realistic at all.

“It’s a huge sum and the stars would really have to align to get even half that. Even if you were to take into account the longer-term values from travel and tourism, it’s still a long way off.

“If I was forced to speculate, I would say a maximum of £250million. It certainly added value to Meghan’s own brand, however.”

Consultants Brand Finance have previously estimated the wedding would bring in £300million through tourism.

£1billion would only be reached if other sectors of the economy such as retail and fashion were factored in.

Meghan’s team have also said the wedding was “not, in fact, publicly funded, but rather personally financed by HRH The Prince of Wales”.

A submission made by her team added: “Any public costs incurred for the wedding were solely for security and crowd control to protect members of the public, as deemed necessary by Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police.”

Experts reckon the total cost of the nuptials was £32million. Meghan’s dress, flowers, food and drinks came in at nearly £1million.

Twenty silver-plated trumpets to announce the event would cost £90,000, plus £300,000 for the glass marquee for the reception.

The lemon elderflower cake from Violet Bakery, London, was estimated at £50,000, while flowers at Windsor Castle cost about £110,000.

The Government paid £1,084,512 to Windsor council for “stewarding, crowd ­control barriers, big screens, waste disposal and costs”. And £230,000 was spent on a PA system.

Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday and its publisher Associated Newspapers after it reproduced parts of a private letter she sent to dad Thomas in August 2018.

The case has been dubbed Markle vs Markle because her dad is expected to be called as a key witness for the publisher.

Meghan has revealed five friends — referred to in court papers as A, B, C, D, E — spoke to People magazine about a note she wrote after Thomas was unable to attend the wedding following a heart attack.

Meghan said the magazine article came after she had “become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles” in UK newspapers which had caused a “tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health”.

She has said some centred around claims of divisions between the Cambridges and Sussexes before she and Harry stepped down as senior royals this March.

The papers add: “As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”

The friends — who are not named but thought to include her former best friend Jessica Mulroney — could also be called to testify. People magazine previously described them as “Meghan’s inner circle — a longtime friend, a former co-star, a friend from LA, a one-time colleague and a close confidante”.

The trial is expected to focus on whether Meghan had a reasonable expectation of privacy over the ­letter to her dad given that her friends had already briefed People about its contents.

Meghan’s team said that Friend A, who may have been Mulroney, spoke anonymously to People and made a “passing reference to the letter”.

Meghan admitted that she had “discussed with Friend A that she was writing a letter to her father at the time of penning it”.

But she claims she did not know that Friend A had given an interview to the magazine. The papers say she “only found out about it, and any reference to the Letter, after the People article was published”.

Had Meghan known the letter to her dad would have been ­mentioned she would “not have consented”, say the documents.

But she also admitted she was “aware that her friends were deeply worried for her mental health as a result of her treatment by the UK media”.

The Duchess’s team were asked by the Mail on Sunday to identify the five friends. Meghan has refused, saying the friends had chosen to speak anonymously.

Mr Markle said he wanted to share the letter after its contents were publicly misrepresented in order to “vilify” him. No date has been set for the trial.

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