With the arrival of little Princess Charlotte of Cambridge earlier this month, retailers will have inevitably experienced an influx of customers purchasing commemorative memorabilia and other royal baby related souvenirs. The UK economy is expecting a huge boost with the excitement generated by the new baby. With the Monarchy estimated to be worth £44 billion, we take a brief look at four ways the Royal family has given the UK’s economy a much needed lift in the past.
(1) The Royal Wedding
In April 2011, the nation watched in wonder as Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot. The event was watched by approximately 1 million people in the crowds of London, bringing in around £107 million to the economy as hotels, shops, and restaurants cashed in on the extra trade. Authorities predicted the event would bring in 4 million visitors to the UK and around £2 billion over the following years. Celebratory street parties enjoyed by many UK residents also helped the supermarkets benefit by almost £500 million. That’s an awful lot of Pimms, vol-au-vents, and sausage rolls.
(2) The Queen’s Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 also had a significant impact on the economy. Retail figures were expected to total around £508 million. This figure anticipated that £105 million would be spent on food and drink, £25 million by those attending the Jubilee events such as the Pageant, £196 million on souvenirs including commemorative coins and medallions, and an additional £41.5 million from tourists who visited the UK during this time. A further £60 million was spent as a result of the long bank holiday weekend from 2nd to the 5th June, 2012.
(3) The ‘Kate Effect’
What Kate Middleton wears is big business. She is estimated to be worth around £1 million to the fashion industry because the clothes that she’s spotted wearing fly off the shelves, on occasion causing retailer’s websites to crash due to the sudden rush of customers hoping to copy her look. One company to have benefited greatly is the maternity fashion label Séraphine (thought to be Kate’s favourite maternity wear brand), who reportedly saw sales double in the two years since the Duchess was first seen in one of their outfits. Ebay also saw sales of yellow dresses double after Kate was seen wearing the sunny colour last year. The more devoted followers of Kate’s fashion even have blogs dedicated to sharing the Duchess’s latest trends with the world. What Kate Wore regularly discusses Kate’s clothing, shoes, and handbag choices, and provides useful tips on where you can shop for these items.
(4) Prince George
The birth of Prince George in July 2013 boosted retail sales by around £247 million between 1st July and 31st August as people across the nation forked out on food, drink, souvenirs, and royal memorabilia to celebrate. Marks and Spencer unveiled special edition shortbread tins featuring a decorative pink and blue pram while Tesco released its ‘Royal baby’ line of F&F baby clothes.
Baby Charlotte is expected to add another boost to the UK economy. However, retail sales are not expected to rival those after Prince George’s birth. George’s little sister is estimated to bring in only around £70 million of retail sales. She will still have a long-term impact on the UK economy as clothes, prams, and toys spotted with the little royal are likely to sell fast. Retail sales are also likely to be generated by fashion bloggers and other media outlets as she grows into her teens and adulthood.
Headline image credit: Kate and William, Canada Day, 2011, by tsaiproject. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr