Is Royal Wedding Under Cost Constraints?

VIDEO: Royal Wedding Countdown*

Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding is expected to be one of the biggest events of 2011, but it will not be a time of blind spending for the king- and queen-to-be, according to a royal expert.

"There are constraints involved," former Buckingham palace spokesman Dickie Arbiter told "Good Morning America." "William and Kate are going to be aware they're under the microscope in terms of costs."

Prince Charles announced the engagement of his son Prince William to long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton early Tuesday, sending the entire British nation and an international media into a wedding-warped frenzy as to where and when the wedding will be held, and what it will cost.

But the island nation has been reeling from the global economic downturn and recently slashed $130 billion in spending, and half a million public sector jobs, focusing special atttention on what the royal blowout might cost, and who will pay for it.

Estimates for the ceremony's price tag range wildly -- from around $20 million to $75 million.

"There are all sorts of figures being banded about. Someone was talking about 30 million pounds 30 years ago for the wedding of Charles and Diana. It was nowhere near that, and it won't reach that sort of figure now," Arbiter said.

William's father, Prince Charles, is expected to pick up most of the check for the wedding, including a possible donation from the queen. But security costs, which have been estimated well into the millions of pounds, will be paid by police and government agencies, Arbiter said.

But the wedding is also expected to give a helpful boost to England's economy, reportedly bringing in as much as 620 million pounds in the form of tourism and consumer spending, according to one retail researcher.

Middleton Photographed at Westminister Abbey

As to where the wedding will be held, rumors that the happy couple could say their vows in Westminster Abbey gained traction Wednesday when The Daily Mail snapped pictures of the bride-to-be leaving the historic church.

Arbiter said the abbey would make a logical place for the wedding due to its proximity to Buckingham palace.

"Westminster is a good option. ... It's good for planning security, good for a carriage ride," he said.

It would also make for an emotional return to Westminster. It was the same place he said his final goodbyes to his mother, the late Princess Diana, at her funeral in 1997.

According to Arbiter, the abbey can hold nearly 3,000 guests, but it could still be months before the much-anticipated guest list is made public.

"What you've got to remember is that you've got guests William and Kate want to invite, there are guests that William and Kate have got to invite because there's the commonwealth aspect, there are world leaders that have to be considered, there are friends there are family. So they're already thinking about that," he said.

After much speculation about the timing of the wedding, today rumors are swirling that March could be magic month, Arbiter said.

"There's a lot of speculation that it's going to be a summer wedding, but I think it's very telling in the announcement that the palace put out yesterday that it could be a spring wedding," royal expert Katie Nicholl told "GMA" Tuesday. "And royal engagement announcements by tradition are short. So I wouldn't rule out seeing something perhaps as early as March or April.

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