Royal wedding to face budget challenge

LONDON Though the royal family still wants to satisfy the bride's family and its royal relatives, they still need to be supportive of the recession-weary British public.

Exactly who will foot the bill for the wedding? Details are still being ironed out, but the royal family is being careful to be sensitive to the country's cash-strapped mood.

"The couple are mindful of the current economic situation," William's office said.

Since William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, the nuptial ceremony will not be a formal state occasion.

According to William's office, Middleton paid a short visit to Westminster Abbey Wednesday evening, and the couple is considering the central London landmark as a venue option.

"The couple wish for a little more time to be able to consult family members and make a decision for themselves," William's office said.

Westminster Abbey can hold 2,200 people - plenty of room for guests - and does not cost anything to book. It is also likely to be available, since only members of the royal family, abbey staff and members of the ceremonial Order of the Bath and their families are allowed to marry there.

Money for the festivities could come from the annual 7.9 million pounds ($11.6 million) in government funding given to the royal household to pay for salaries and official functions, or from the queen's personal wealth.

Charles is also expected to pay some of the bill, and Middleton's parents - self-made millionaires who run a party-planning business - will probably also help out.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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