The Wedding Economy

People are selling their royal wedding gift bags on eBay

Monogrammed gift bags at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England
WPA Pool | Pool | Getty
Monogrammed gift bags at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England

While many observers of Saturday's royal wedding saw the look of love, others saw dollar signs, it seems, as a number of attendees have taken to eBay to sell their gift bags.

As of Tuesday morning, 34 auctions were listed on the website, with prices ranging from £112 (around $150) up to £10,100 (approximately $13,552).

The highest priced listing, which is touted as a "piece of history," has so far amassed 53 bids from royal family fanatics.

A screenshot of an eBay listing of a royal wedding gift bag
eBay
A screenshot of an eBay listing of a royal wedding gift bag

Gift bags were given to 2,640 members of the public who were invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle for Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle on Saturday May 19.

Among those invited were 200 people from charities associated with the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 100 local schoolchildren and 610 Windsor residents.

The bags were not given to the 600 close family and friends of the royal couple who were invited inside the chapel.

What's inside the bag:

  • A tote bag bearing the initials "HM" plus the date and venue of the wedding
  • An order of service booklet
  • A commemorative fridge magnet
  • A gold chocolate coin
  • A tub of "handbag shortbread"
  • A postcard
  • A bottle of spring water
  • A 20 percent off voucher for the Windsor Castle gift shop
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex ride in the Ascot Landau carriage during the procession after getting married St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Matt Cardy | Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex ride in the Ascot Landau carriage during the procession after getting married St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Though some guests appeared to see the handout as a lucrative money-maker, others saw it as an opportunity to raise money for a good cause.

One listing by the Swindon Night Shelter claims it will donate all proceeds to "the complex needs of those homeless and vulnerable in Swindon and the surrounding area."

The royal wedding has attracted global attention, not least for the amount of money involved.

It is estimated that the total bill for Saturday's celebrations came to around $42.8 million.

A staggering 94 percent of that is said to have been spent on security. The cost of the wedding alone is thought to be closer to $2.7 million — 73 times the cost of the average U.K. wedding.