Kate Middleton's Parents Are Chipping In for the Royal Wedding

It's just a drop in the bucket, but a lovely gesture nonetheless: Kate Middleton's parents will contribute a six-figure sum to help pay for their daughter's wedding to Prince William.

For Carole (pictured above, with Kate) and Michael Middleton, who own an online party supplies company called Party Pieces -- which made them millionaires -- “It is something they absolutely wanted to do, and William graciously accepted,” a source tells Vanity Fair. Traditionally the royal family alone pays the entire cost.

The wedding is expected to cost more than 10 million pounds (which calculates to about $16 million) according to the London newspaper The Telegraph, which also notes that the Middletons want their contribution to go towards a specific aspect of the wedding, such as the honeymoon, rather than making an "impersonal" contribution towards the overall cost.

The Middletons see their financial gift -- the exact amount has not been specified -- as one way to stay involved in their oldest daughter's big day, according to another source, who says, "Prince William and Catherine's intention right from the outset has been to make sure that the Middleton family are as tied into the arrangements as possible," adding, "They are a very close family and this was their way of offering to be part of the day."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles will be picking up the bulk of the cost of the wedding, including the church service, music, flowers and receptions; British taxpayers will foot the bill for security, policing and street cleaning on the big day, which could run into tens of millions of dollars.

Kate and William are said to be very aware that many citizens are in precarious financial straits so don't want to be seen as spending money frivolously. However, they also realize that their nuptials must be a world-class event. "All parties involved, not least Prince William and Miss Middleton, want to ensure that a balance is struck between an enjoyable day and the current economic situation," Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Prince William’s private secretary and the man in charge of organizing the wedding, tells The Telegraph.

That's why every little bit helps.

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