Royal baby to give almost $400 million bump to British economy

Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:42am EDT
 
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - From Union Jack booties to "Born to Rule" sleepwear, the British royal family has joined retailers in offering baby products to mark the arrival of the royal heir.

Analysts estimate the baby fever could boost the economy by 240 million pounds ($380 million).

A baby sleepsuit modeled on a guardsman's outfit is one of the gifts on sale at palace shops by the Royal Collection Trust, which uses all profits for the upkeep of the royal palaces.

Prince Charles, the grandfather-to-be, is selling handmade baby shoes through a shop on his country estate Highgrove, while the mother-to-be's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, have added a range of baby goods to their party goods business.

Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), estimated that the arrival of the baby, due in July, could add more than 240 million pounds to the British economy.

"This is a good news story and there really is no downside. With the birth coming in July, people will have time to get involved, and that means additional spending," Bamfield told Reuters after the release of the CRR's report on Monday.

"There has been a lot of interest across the Atlantic as well, as the younger royals are very well thought of in the United States, so we are expecting good sales of souvenirs."

The birth of the royal baby, who will be third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William, is the latest in a run of royal and sporting events.   Continued...

 
Britain's Prince Andrew (L), Prince Harry (2nd L), Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London June 15, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Hackett