Royal wedding cost 30 billion pounds to the UK economy – former MI5 officer

The guest list for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton included a host of VIPs as well as controversial political figures, which has raised questions about Britain’s foreign policy.

­Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer for MI5, shared her views on the matter with RT.

“The Foreign Office policy is actually to invite everyone who represents a country with which the UK has standard diplomatic relations. The possibility of UN sanctions being imposed against the Syrian government made it slightly difficult for them to continue to offer an invitation to Dr. Sami Khiyami," Machon said.

Machon criticized the pre-emptive arrests by police in the days leading up to the wedding.

“Obviously they have to take measures to protect the event from any terrorist groups," she said.

“But it is a fact that that they were trying to stop – and indeed stopped – protesters from exercising their right to freedom of expression, and that is of great concern.”

It is well-known that millions in taxpayers’ money was spent on the preparations, the security and the ceremony itself, but Machon says much larger amounts of money are involved.

“The wedding is an extremely expensive event to host in this austerity time. But it’s not the event itself, it’s the cost to the economy, with an additional bank holiday that matters. The business sector said the cost to the country’s economy is about 30 billion pounds!" she said.

According to Machon, despite the fact that the wedding gave British support for the monarchy a bounce, there has been concern about the wealth the monarchy may have hidden away.