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chelsea clinton royal wedding
Chris Jackson, Getty Images |

When Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wed investment banker Marc Mezvinsky on July 31, 2010, it was dubbed the wedding of the year, the decade, the century even. But that was four months before Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton. So how does last year's "wedding of the century" compare to this year's "wedding of the century"?

How They Met
Chelsea and Marc first met as teenagers at a political retreat (Marc's parents are former Democratic members of Congress). They both went on to attend Stanford University, but did not begin dating until years later, after Chelsea ended her relationship with Ian Klaus.

Across the pond, William and Kate (a small-town girl from Bucklebury) met at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 2001. The college friendship developed into an eight-year relationship that included some break-ups along the way.

The Proposals
Over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2009, Marc proposed to Chelsea in New York. The pair shared the news with friends and family via a low-key email: "We're sorry for the mass email but we wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving! We also wanted to share that we are engaged!"

In October 2010, while on a 10-day trip in Kenya, Africa, William asked for Kate's hand in marriage. Clarence House officially announced the engagement with a flashy photo op and TV interview the following month.

The Costs
The first-family wedding, which was held at Astor Courts, a private estate in Rhinebeck, New York, was described by townspeople as a "royal" event and the Clintons as our Windsor clan. "We love [Bill Clinton]... We wish them well. It's royalty. It's our royalty," New York state resident Arlene Newman told The New York Times.

The affair reportedly cost between $3 to $5 million. That hefty price tag included $750,000 for catering, $11,000 for a gluten-free cake (Chelsea's allergic), $15,000 for fancy toilets, $500,000 for flowers, $200,000 for extra security (paid for by the Clintons) and $600,000 for air-conditioned tents, among other expenses. Plus, a Federal Aviation Administration-enforced no-fly zone was in effect for the area.

William and Kate's nuptials take the wedding cake when it comes to expenses though. On April 29, they will say their "I do's" in Westminster Abbey, with a regal reception to follow at Buckingham Palace for the estimated princely sum of $34 million. The bulk of the cost is going towards security ($32 million), which British taxpayers will pay.

Officials have warned that a terrorist attack is "highly likely." The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is believed to be behind the alleged threats. But other groups, from Islamist militants to anti-capitalist protesters, have also threatened to commit acts of violence. The increased safety measures mean more man hours and added costs.

As for the remaining bills, two receptions come to $600,000; a fruity wedding cake, $80,000; flowers, $800,000 and clean-up, $64,000 (which will also be footed by taxpayers).

To help with some of the charges, the bride's parents forked over a six-figure amount, Vanity Fair reported.

The Gowns
For the ceremony, Chelsea wore a strapless Vera Wang gown with a raw-edged silk organza skirt, which featured a beaded waistband. For the reception, she switched into a silk tulle Grecian gown with a grosgrain black belt created by the designer (who also attended the wedding).

The details of Kate's dress are still a bit of a mystery. Sophie Cranston, Jasper Conran, Alice Temperley, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen and Bruce Oldfield have all been named as possible dressmakers.

The Guests
Chelsea enacted a "no-strangers policy" for her Rhinebeck reception, which was limited to approximately 400 guests. Celebrities were kept to a minimum. Oprah and Barbra Streisand were not invited, but long-time family friends Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen did make the cut, along with political allies, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and the bride and groom's college and work friends.

As for this week's festivities, 1,900 onlookers will be in the Abbey pews, including David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, lots of foreign royals and dignitaries and the couple's families and friends. Plus, two billion folks --a record-breaking number of eyeballs -- are expected to tune in to watch the first "people's royal wedding."

The Honeymoons
After their wedding, Marc and Chelsea headed to South Africa for a safari adventure. William and Kate's first trip as husband and wife will be to Jordan... or Australia... or Mustique... or Isles of Scilly.

As for privacy, well that's priceless.

More Royal Wedding News:

Royal Wedding Graffiti: "Don't Hate on Kate"

Royal Wedding Dress Designer Still a Mystery

Prince William and Kate Pay Emotional Visit to Princess Diana's Grave

Kate Middleton Shops at Banana Republic Before Wedding

Prince William and Kate Middleton Look a Little Sketchy

Who Was Crowned the Most Beautiful Royal of All Time?

Watch: Prince William's Royal Wedding Hangover

Women Don't Envy Kate Middleton

Could Prince William's Future Daughter Be Queen?

Homeless Girl Gets Royal Wedding Invite from Prince William

Must Watch: Royal Wedding Dance Video

Kate Middleton's Face Spotted on Jelly Bean

Royal Wedding Videos

  • Kookie

    Kate and Will are class. Clintons are not. At least Kate and Will will last longer with Chelsea's breaking up already.

  • Dan

    What is it exactly that the royals do for a living? Oh, thats right ! They are ticks and leechs. Almost forgot. Why would people want to idolize ticks and leechs?

  • Kate

    Chelsea Clinton ,though she looked beautiful, is far from royal !!!

  • patardugno

    The Clinton's are atheist scum!

  • Manny

    To the person who said why do people idolize the royals who are "ticks and leeches." Right wingers do it all the time in America. They love the wealthy ticks and leeches here. They want them to be cared for, but forget the middle class, of which they are a part.

  • hank

    never forget the royals are paying for their places by these events that make billions in souvenirs and tourism, they are disneyland for the leave mickey and minny spin gold for britain

  • linda

    Hank honey. The royal family pays for nothing. The British tax payers pay for the upkeep, hired help, landscaping (no taxes for the royal family, of course - sort of like Obama exempting several companies here) and all expenses of the royals including their clothes. They have interests in private businesses but get no income from the government. Why would they need it? Souvenir money goes to the government to help defray the billions of dollars of expenses. As William said, they are a very expensive entertainment for the Brits.

  • Piper

    Only the media talk about this, I believe I've read Kate and William have already been living together, if so, I can't see why a big wedding.

  • Donna

    The wedding is because they don't want to be married in the motel parking lot you were married at...GOT IT!!!

  • Linda

    If all the couples in American who live together before getting married did not have weddings, a lot of businesses would go broke. But then we have the lovely HOllywood crowd of sex and drug addicts who make a living pretending to be someone they aren't to entertain the masses. And, they seem to have contests to see who has the most spouses and/or kids without having spouses. Morals is not a word that is neither heard nor spoken by that sick crowd. I'm just amazed that the press bothers to print their antics. It makes American look like gutter trash to the rest of the world.

  • george

    There is no royalty in the U.S.A. Plus if we did have royalty in the U.S.A. it would not be a family like the Clinton's or Obama's that is for sure!!!!!!!!!

  • Donna

    I say William and Chelsea should marry ...can you imagine the set of teeth their kid would have...cause really I don't think anyof them have looks worth bragging about!!!!

  • sassytxn12

    There is no comparing Chelsea Clinton to Kate. Geez. Chelsea is ugly as sin whose father is the ultimate whore-hound. Her mom is a bull-dyke.

  • sassytxn12

    Or the Kennedys. That is one trailer-trash family with money.

  • Bill

    The main difference being, Chelsa looks like she is inbred and Kate is beautiful.

  • pappy

    I could careless I wish they would cover real news and not some world of make beleive. I am child of the MOST HIGH GOD, the KING of Kings. Now if they were saved that would be different. You will know them by their fruit, I see now,.

  • kathy

    You all sound a tad jealous to me, beauty comes from within, and chelsea is not ugly nor is kate a golddigger, she wouldnt be first woman to date someone a long time before getting engaged, look how many people live together before getting married; unfortunately with the way the media butts their noses into peoples lives, i dont see much of survival for this marriage; especially the paper enquirer, they print stuff whether its true or not
    those of you calling chelsea ugly, maybe need to look at yourselves and see how great looking you are, because what youre saying makes you ugly;
    think if kate and william been smart, theyd have eloped, wouldnt want to follow all the rules for having to be married to a prince or king,

  • mike

    Who give a fuck about either one of these weddings. One looks like a horse and the others aren't even american. All this media coverage about people we will never meet, they will never help out in any form plus we are people they would never ever even consider to talk to. we are beneath them, so they think. They are nobody, just because they have money and his mom is Queen of England, like I said before, "who gives a fuck!!!!" The media needs to find something more interesting to talk about

  • P. T. Atkins

    Every marriage is special in it's own way.
    Don't see the point in comparing.

  • lin



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