UK Politics

Lord Archer vents fury at royal wedding 'curmudgeons'

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Media captionLord Archer on 'farcical' rules of Royal succession

Lord Archer has dismissed people who complain about the cost of Prince William and Kate Middleton's forthcoming wedding as "curmudgeons".

It is reported that Prince Charles will fund the event, although the taxpayer's bill for security could reach £20m.

But Lord Archer, an author and ex-Conservative deputy chairman, said the wedding would receive global coverage and bring "millions" to the UK economy.

The Royal Family was a "great benefit to Great Britain Limited", he added.

Prince William and Miss Middleton announced on Tuesday that they had become engaged and that a wedding would take place next year.

'Grumpy'

The anti-monarchy group Republic has said taxpayers should not have to put any money towards the event as the wedding should be "private".

But, speaking on BBC Two's Daily Politics, Lord Archer, who served two years in prison after being convicted of perjury in 2001, said this was a "curmudgeonly world view".

He added: "In this age when we are trying to balance the books, the Royal Family are a great benefit to Great Britain Limited. As long as they are a benefit to Great Britain Limited, I'm very happy to have them."

Asked about the debate over the wedding's cost, Lord Archer said: "It's pathetic. This nation should live in our own skins and enjoy a royal wedding.

"Who are this grumpy, envious lot saying 'I don't want a royal wedding'? It will bring in millions for this country. It will bring a higher reputation for this country."

The wedding will take place in London and the couple will then live in north Wales, where the prince, who is second in line to the throne, is serving with the RAF.

Speculation about the wedding venue has focused on Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and the smaller Guards Chapel.

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