A petition launched last night - which has already attracted well over 3,000 signatures - is demanding the royal family pay the full cost of Harry and Meghan's wedding on May 19.


Despite royal claims to be footing the bill, campaign group Republic has pointed out that the local council and Thames Valley Police will be hit with huge costs for road closures and security.  Local businesses are also likely to be affected.


Costs are likely to rise dramatically after it was announced over the weekend that the newlywed couple will parade through Windsor after the ceremony.


The strong response to the petition also comes after repeated news stories about the local council spending money on clamping down on homeless people in the area.


Graham Smith, speaking for Republic, said today:


"Local services and police are under serious financial strain - the idea that the taxpayer will be expected to pay for a multi-millionaire's wedding is appalling.  The priority must be on local services and helping those in need."


"A royal wedding is a private, personal event, dressed up as a national occasion. Taxpayers should not be funding a private wedding, no matter who is getting married."


"If Harry and Meghan want to turn their big day into a public event, they need to pick up the bill – all of it."


"It is a disgrace that the council is demonising homeless people while seemingly happy to throw money at the wedding.  This petition is demanding that the royals pay every last penny - and that the government comes clean over who is paying for the event."


"If the royals want to turn a private wedding into a public PR exercise, they need to pay. The taxpayer needs to know who is funding what, where the money is coming from and the impact the wedding will have on local and police budgets."


The full details of the petition can be found at www.republic.org.uk/petition/royal-wedding


The petition says: "We petition the UK parliament to commit no public money to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and to call upon the government to publish a report of all costs to taxpayers.