Britain is getting anxious over the kind of suit its Prime Minister should be wearing to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Royal watchers were thrown into a state of confusion after reports this week said Prime Minister David Cameron had decided to wear a lounge suit rather than the formal morning dress - to the Apr 29 event.
As an Oxford University student, Cameron was photographed along with fellow-upper class members of Bullington, an exclusive 150-year-old dining club, wearing tailcoats and other bits of the club's uniform that cost more than £3,500.
After the photograph was published by a Labour newspaper just before general elections last year, Cameron's Conservative party pressurised other media from following suit. Now, with up to half a million public sector jobs on the line as a result of Britain's worst post-war recession, the wrangling over how a guest should look at the royal wedding has taken on a sharp tone.
"That this Old Etonian, ex-Carlton PR spiv thinks the sight of him in morning dress is going to pull focus from the assembled mass of the crowned heads of Europe is self-aggrandisement of the most risible kind," said the light-hearted Guardian 'passnotes' column.
A royal spokesman said, "The advice to all guests is that they should wear either a morning suit or a lounge suit and it is entirely up to them what they choose."
The royal wedding is expected to cost tens of million of pounds to the British taxpayer - according to one estimate, security alone will cost £80 million. And previous estimates have put the cost of associated holidays to around £5 billion in lost man-days.