Entertainment

Meghan Markle in wax: Madame Tussauds looks to cash in

London statue to be revealed ahead of wedding

LONDON (CNNMoney) - Royal wedding mania has reached Madame Tussauds.

The tourist attraction, which features wax figures of celebrities and cultural icons, will soon unveil statues of future royal Meghan Markle in London and New York.

The London statue will be revealed ahead of the royal wedding on May 19, and the New York version will go on display this summer. Each statue costs roughly £150,000 ($210,000) to make.

Madame Tussauds' London museum already features wax statues of Markle's soon-to-be groom, Prince Harry, along with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Madame Tussauds declined to reveal how Markle would be depicted, saying this was "a tightly guarded secret."

"The choice [of outfit and stance] will reflect an iconic moment in Meghan's royal journey so far," it said in a statement.

A Madame Tussauds spokesperson said that Markle will not pose for the statue. The company will instead rely on "research information and photography to ensure Meghan's infectious and warm personality is captured in the final figure."

"The palace is being kept up to date at each stage of the figure's creation," the spokesperson said in an email.

Markle is an American actress who shot to fame in her role on the television show Suits. Her engagement to Prince Harry was announced in November.

Tourist attractions, travel companies and hotels are keen to cash in on royal wedding fever in the UK. However, travel experts are not expecting an immediate boost for British tourism.

Analysts expect that any spike in visits from royal fanatics will be counteracted by the desire of other tourists to stay far away from the hubbub.

Instead, the nuptials are expected to act as a marketing tool to entice tourists in the years to come.

"Don't expect visitors from abroad to come for this royal wedding; it is a pageant for domestic consumption," Tom Jenkins, CEO of European tourism association ETOA, told CNN in February.

The 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton did not result in a noticeable uptick in tourist arrivals or spending, according to the UK Office for National Statistics.

Tussauds' owner Merlin Entertainment could use a boost. It had a difficult summer season last year as terror attacks in London and bad weather kept visitors away.


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