We may not know the royal baby’s name yet, but one thing is for certain: the third in line for the British throne is already a royal money-maker.
As happened during the frenzy of the Royal Wedding in April 2011, merchandise is expected to roll out in droves, ranging from diapers and clothing to strollers, and even a potty trainer in the shape of a throne. Analysts predict that total souvenir sales could push $131 million in earnings, including $115 million in books, DVDs, and media alone.
A slew of publishing houses already have royal baby themed books waiting in the wings for publication, including New York Mediaworks’ book “Bubblegum Princess,” a fictionalized story of the duchess’s life leading to her marriage to Prince William rumored to go on sale after the baby is born. The overall economic boost for the UK, including a potential boost in tourism, could rack up to $367 million. In fact, news crews have been converging on London from around the world for weeks, buying airplane tickets, (insanely expensive) hotel rooms, and food.
For a nation that saw a mere 0.3% economic increase in the first quarter of 2013 from the fourth quarter of 2012, the baby boost will undoubtedly be a welcome one.
The stock market has already seen an impact, with shares of baby products retailer Mothercare up more than 2% this week. The brokerage firm Panmure Gordan responsible for Mothercare upgraded its rating from “sell” to “hold” last Friday, citing “irrepressible momentum with respect to sporting and royal baby news.
And what about those parties? We all remember the Royal Wedding TV marathons celebrated in homes across the world in April 2011. In fact, the day of the wedding, April 29, was declared a national bank holiday in the UK. While analysts expect the parties to be a bit more subdued this time around (after all, there won’t be as much of a live event to tune in for), celebrants are expected to shell out as much as $131 million for food and beverages as the “Wait For Kate” comes to an end. And since there likely won’t be a bank holiday after the royal birth, the UK economy will get the upside of a royal event without the downside of idled capacity.
Bookmakers and gamblers alike stand to gain big money from the birth announcement as well, with more than $1 million currently in the betting market. The name “George” is currently the bookmaker’s favorite, with odds of 8/1—which could mean a huge payout for those betting on the sex/name of the baby.
Underlying the baby bump boom, there is that intangible “feel good” factor which economists have noticed throughout history: when people feel good about themselves, their lives, and their countries, they tend to spend a little more.
Some parents who have had babies in recent days are putting off naming their newborns until they learn of the royal baby’s name, so they can copy it or avoid it all together. But it won’t matter for the future monarch. No matter his name, the new prince stands to inherit up to $1 billion—just for being born.
The royal baby by the numbers…
- Royal baby inheritance: Up to $1 billion
- Royal birth festivities: $131 million projected food and beverage sales
- Souvenir sales: Up to $121 million
- Books, DVDs, media: Up to $115 million
- Betting market: Currently at $150,000
- Overall economic boost for the UK: $367 million