The royal baby has arrived, and with it—millions of pounds in economic stimulus for the U.K.!
You read that correctly. As we already know, this baby won’t be like most babies—for starters, he’s being welcome into the world with a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London. But there’s another, more obvious factor that separates this particular infant from all the rest.
In June, the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) released the eye-popping figure of £243 million as an estimate of the boost in retail sales that the royal baby’s arrival will generate in the U.K. From the beginning of July to the end of August, Brits are expected to spend £76 million on books, dvds, and media, £87 million on party planning, and £80 million on “souvenirs and toys” related to the new heir’s arrival.
The Centre’s director also publicly estimated that the baby will generate about £380 million in total for the U.K.’s economy.
A betting frenzy over the gender (it’s a boy!) and name of the new arrival is also expected to have a turnover of about £300,000.
But those aren’t the only big numbers that have emerged about William and Kate’s offspring. The previous obsession over the Duchess’s wardrobe choices has spilled over to her choice of maternity clothes, nursery items, and even the place she’s decided to give birth.
Having your baby in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, where Kate gave birth, isn’t cheap. The Guardian has reported that you need £5500 (or around $8600) to make a deposit for a posh birthing suite at the facility. Every extra night you stay beyond the initial “birthing package” will cost you an additional £1,000, or $1,560.
When the baby moves into his new digs at Kensington Palace (currently under renovation, but reportedly set to welcome the Duke and Duchess in the fall), he will be well-protected, as the building is currently undergoing £750,000 worth of security updates. Rumours have also emerged that Kate has hired celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen to help with decorating Kensington’s nursery, and the Duchess has been spotted shopping for expensive fabrics at Bernard Thorp, and rugs on London’s Lots Road.
The new babe will also rest his royal head in a pricey bassonet from exclusive London baby boutique Blue Almonds. Kate and her mother Carole were spotted picking the “Moses” model off the shelf for £295 (about $500). According to the Daily Mail, these particular baskets can retail for as much as $1000, depending on whether you get custom-fitted cushions and sheets for your new arrival. (It’s important to have good neck support for a head that will eventually wear a crown, right?)
Blue Almonds seems to have enjoyed the spotlight brought on by Kate’s visit to the store, and has released a new “royal collection,” featuring products adorned with silver crown prints (no pun intended).
And once the little tot is ready to join his royal mum and dad for official outings, he will do so in a celebrity-favoured Bugaboo stroller. Kate touched off another series of speculative reports when she reportedly purchased the Bugaboo “Cameleon” model in blue—a hint at the baby’s gender perhaps?
More concrete was the price point—Bugaboos can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,800.
All of this attention adds up to another retail push, according to the CRR. The organization expects stroller sales to increase by 13 per cent “as new parents ‘trade up’ to more exclusive baby carriages, following a trend that is expected to be set by the royals.”
If it turns out that Kate really did purchase a Bugaboo, CRR says the manufacturer will be in luck, as whatever model she bought will become a “must-have status symbol.”
Blogs dedicated to Kate’s fashion choices have been ogling over her maternity-wear for the past several months, and were particularly excited when she was spotted shopping in the maternity section at Peter Jones department store in London. Here she mulled over buggies and a car seat, as well as the store’s Seraphine maternity clothing collection. According to its website, Seraphine items have been spotted on the likes of Jessica Alba and Lily Allen, and their silk pregnancy dresses cost anywhere from $139 to $375.
Adding to the spending frenzy of course are the reams of royal baby souvenirs currently on sale across the U.K. Want a royal baby-themed training potty, wheel of cheese, or sick bag? All of those things actually exist (the last one for just $4.50 a-piece).
But if you really want to go all out in emulating the Cambridges as they welcome their newest addition, the Wall Street Journal reports that London’s Grosvenor House Hotel has created the “Suite Dreams” luxury nursery, “designed and tailored with a royal baby in mind.” According to a press release, Marriott partnered with high-end nursery decorators Dragons of Walton Street, said to have a historical relationship with the royal family (Princes William and Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie all grew up in Dragons-decorated nurseries) in creating the regal space. The Grosvenor suite comes complete with a Balmoral pram, described as the “Rolls Royce” of strollers, a Beatrix Potter-themed changing area, and the “pièce de résistance is a beautiful dolls house toy cupboard hand painted to represent Grosvenor House’s signature architecture.”
New families can book the suite—which emulates a “quintessentially British nursery” and comes complete with hand-crafted furniture— for between $3400 and $10,000 a night to have their own royal baby experience.
Because that’s not weird at all.