The past few weeks have seen a large amount of speculation, reporting and general hoopla around one small thing, a recently born baby boy who happens to be third in line for the throne of England. News agencies from around the world were parked outside the royal residence and the designated hospital for weeks, gossips from New York to Sydney have discussed names and baby raising methods, and every piece of clothing worn during the Duchess’ pregnancy has been scrutinized the world over. The news has been hard to miss, but what has been overlooked is the wealth-generating factor the baby has had, what is estimated as over 350 million GBP.
To start with, there’s the most visible aspect – the souvenirs. “Royal Baby 2013” has been slapped on everything from mugs, to tea cozies (they are British after all), to flags, pens and, of course, baby onesies. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but considering Zazzle.com is selling royal baby iPhone covers who wouldn’t want that?!) for 25 GBP (39 USD), and at least 200-300 are to be sold, the revenue from that one product alone could surpass 7500 GBP, to so nothing of the 50 GBP plaques of the happy family that are on sale. The estimated retail effect of the birth alone is expected to top 100 million GBP.
Then we have the tourism aspect. Though opinions differ, there is a surge in UK tourism expected in the coming months on the back of the Baby Prince’s arrival. Though year-on-year growth is not expected to surpass last year’s due to the effect of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, and Diamond Jubilee, there is a bump expected in the average 4.5 billion GBP income from tourism. Hundreds of thousands flocked for the Royal Wedding two years ago, hinting that similar effects could be felt to rejoice in the Royal Birth.
When discussing wealth creation there are some aspects that are often glossed over. In this case, betting and the internet. As of this week, estimates on betting on the Royal Baby exceed 1 million GBP. Bookies have been giving everything from odds on the name, the sex of the baby, and the date of the birth. Major bookkeepers have already raked in over 350,000 GBP each, with most betting taking place the after the Duchess went into labor, including internet bookies. However bets weren’t the only way wealth flowed through the net, internet squatters – people who buy domain names and hope for their value to increase – have seen to make a profit as well. Purchases of such domains more than doubled, with one site going for 10,000 GBP.
It is undeniable that this media extravaganza has had a huge economic effect for the island nation. However Britons may not be the only ones to benefit. Tabloids from across the world have gained more ad revenue and have licensed their photos and information to local sources, and Twitter recorded over 25 thousand referencing tweets a minute at the hype’s height. This is to say nothing of the mood Britons (and Americans for some reason) have been put in to celebrate and consume. Perhaps it will be Royal branded diapers, not a banking union, that will lead Britain out of its economic woes.