Harry and Meghan's wedding will boost UK economy by £500MILLION and improve special relationship with the US

  • Worldwide interest in royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism
  • Economy will be boosted by hotel bookings and the sale of royal memorabilia?
  • The 'Meghan effect' has already seen brands sell out of their bags and clothes
  • A £495 British handbag modelled by Miss Markle on Friday sold out hours later?

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could boost the UK economy by up to £500million.

Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism to the UK, with visitors also expected to spend big on royal memorabilia.

The 'Meghan effect' has already seen brands sell out of the bags and clothes modelled by the American, with UK and US relations also set to strengthen.

Consultancy firm Brand Finance said royal endorsements, sometimes referred to as the 'Kate effect', accounts for about £200million a year.

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could boost the UK economy by up to £500million
The 'Meghan effect' has already seen brands sell out of the bags and clothes modelled by the American, with UK and US relations also set to strengthen

The 'Meghan effect' has already seen brands sell out of the bags and clothes modelled by the American, with UK and US relations also set to strengthen

Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism to the UK, with visitors also expected to spend big on royal memorabilia

Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism to the UK, with visitors also expected to spend big on royal memorabilia

However that figure could be smashed by Miss Markle, who announced her engagement to Prince Harry on Monday at Kensington Palace.

A £495 handbag by British designer Strathberry's sold out on its website after Miss Markle was seen clutching it during her first public outing on Friday.

David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, told the Sunday Express: 'A lot of value generated by the monarchy comes from the Duchess of Cambridge’s Midas touch and the extra sales of fashion brands that she is seen wearing.

'Meghan Markle is an accomplished actress in her own right, with a global popularity and a strong personal brand.

'It can be expected that she will join the Duchess of Cambridge as a great ambassador of the monarchy and British brands in general, especially in her native United States and in Canada where she recently lived.'

Mr Haigh said that Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 boosted the British economy by £390million, thanks in part to hotel bookings and merchandise sales.

Meghan flew the flag for Canada, where she had lived until recently, in a navy double breasted coat from the Canadian brand Mackage
She opted to wear no gloves in order to show off her engagement ring

A £495 handbag by British designer Strathberry's sold out on its website after Miss Markle was seen clutching it during her first public outing on Friday?

Command attention like Meghan in a military coat by Mackage

With the excitement of Monday's announcement that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are planning to marry still fresh in our minds, there's been a lot of anticipation surrounding their first joint engagement.

The happy couple are in Nottingham, England, today, and we can't help but think that Meghan is going to fit in just fine with the Royal Family, at least when it comes to style.

Following on from her Line the Label wrap coat, The Suits actress wore a second smart cover-up, which is by another Canadian label. This double-breasted navy coat is Mackage (whose fans include Princess Eugenie) and we love the leather trim pockets and military-inspired details. The maxi length makes it both very elegant and practical for the freezing temperatures!

Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan likes to recycle key pieces and has worn this before. Unfortunately that means it has now sold out, but click (right) to browse the current Mackage collection at Shopbop.

Or layer up this winter in one of the lookalike options we've got lined up for you in the edit below.

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED
The couple appeared in perfect sync as they moved along the seemingly endless line of well-wishers during their first joint public engagement on Friday

The couple appeared in perfect sync as they moved along the seemingly endless line of well-wishers during their first joint public engagement on Friday

The newly-engaged couple couldn’t keep their hands off each other as they undertook their first official duties on Friday.

The pair were in Nottingham, a city that Harry has a close affiliation with, to meet members of the public together for the first time.

While it took Kate three whole months to become a fully-fledged working royal, Meghan, 36, threw herself in the deep end after just five days.

But after years working at the coal-face of showbusiness, the newest member of the Royal Family took everything in her elegant stride.

Royal endorsements, sometimes referred to as the 'Kate effect', accounts for about £200million a year

Royal endorsements, sometimes referred to as the 'Kate effect', accounts for about £200million a year

Arriving in the city centre after travelling up from London with the Queen’s grandson by train, she jumped purposefully out of their official car and stood, arms entwined in Harry’s, as he introduced her to a handful of dignitaries.

Harry, 33, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat, then chivalrously ushered his fiancé over to the first few faces in the 1,000-strong crowd, many of whom had waited in freezing temperatures for several hours in order to catch a glimpse of them.

At first it was the prince who started the conversation, but his wife-to-be quickly caught on – and then, remarkably, took herself off to the other side of the road to greet well-wishers on her own, with all the confidence of someone who had been doing the job for years.

At numerous points during the half-hour walkabout, Miss Markle, dressed in a £585 military coat by Canadian brand Mackage, put a reassuring hand on Harry’s back, rubbing her hand up and down, with Harry returning the gesture. Both frequently looked lovingly into each other’s eyes, much to the delight of well-wishers.

Several of Harry’s most senior Scotland Yard police protection officers had been assigned to guard Miss Markle, while the prince’s assistant private secretary, Heather Wong, temporarily helped out by holding onto her £455 handbag by Scottish firm Strathberry and the many bouquets of flowers she was handed.

The glamorous actress brushed her long hair from her face and smiled broadly as she shook hand after hand.

More tactile than any other royal before her, she frequently stopped to touch people on the arm and even rubbed someone’s wrist - as if to warm them up on the cold day.

How this stunning 15th century gothic chapel will be a grand but intimate setting for the wedding

The stunning 15th century gothic St George's Chapel is set in the Lower Ward of the Queen's beloved Windsor Castle.

Steeped in history, it offers Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a slightly more intimate venue for their nuptials, but one that is still appropriately grand for a royal wedding.

It usually holds around 800 guests compared with the 2,000 capacity of Westminster Abbey where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed in 2011.

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire has been chosen as the venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire has been chosen as the venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The chapel in Berkshire has intricately carved stonework, a magnificent fan vaulted ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows
The view from the top of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, looking down towards St George's Chapel

The chapel in Berkshire has intricately carved stonework, a magnificent fan vaulted ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows

With the Queen now 91 and the Duke of Edinburgh 96, the choice will be especially convenient for Harry's ageing grandparents, who spend a great deal of time at home in the castle.

Located within the castle's grounds and surrounded by the Horseshoe Cloisters and the Henry VIII gate, the venue will also provide the royal family with a certain amount of privacy on the day of the wedding.

Harry was also christened in the chapel in December 1984 when he was three months old, which, according to Church of England rules, means he can also marry there.

The prince and Miss Markle's reception could be held in the castle's 180ft (55m) long St George's Hall, traditionally used for glittering state banquets.

The church is often at the heart of royal events, with the Windsors gathering there each year for Easter services

The church is often at the heart of royal events, with the Windsors gathering there each year for Easter services

The last royal wedding was for Harry's cousin, Peter Phillips - son of the Princess Royal - who married Canadian Autumn Kelly in 2008

The last royal wedding was for Harry's cousin, Peter Phillips - son of the Princess Royal - who married Canadian Autumn Kelly in 2008

The vast hall had to be restored following the devastating fire at the castle in 1992.

The chapel, with its intricately carved stonework, magnificent fan vaulted ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows, has seen many royal weddings and funerals.

The last royal wedding was for Harry's cousin, Peter Phillips - son of the Princess Royal - who married Canadian Autumn Kelly in 2008.

Prince Edward and Sophie leave St Georges's Chapel in 1999

Prince Edward and Sophie leave St Georges's Chapel in 1999

Harry's father, the Prince of Wales, and stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall, had their televised religious blessing there in 2005, after their civil ceremony down the road in Windsor's Town Hall.

In 1999, Harry's uncle, the Earl of Wessex, married Sophie Rhys-Jones, now the Countess of Wessex, at St George's.

Royal newlyweds and their families traditionally pose for photographs afterwards on the vast west steps, as Harry and his new bride are certain to do.

It has been the setting for many historic funerals including the Queen Mother's private committal service following her Westminster Abbey funeral in 2002, and in the same year, Princess Margaret's small, private funeral.

The funeral of the Queen's father, King George VI, took place at St George's in 1952.

Like Westminster Abbey, the chapel is known as a Royal Peculiar, with the Dean of Windsor responsible only to the sovereign.

The church - a place of worship for the Queen and her family - is often at the heart of royal events, with the Windsors gathering there each year for Easter services, and in the past for occasions such as the service to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday.?

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