Royal baby could give royal boost to UK, even US, economy

Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle's first child arrived on Monday – which could prove lucrative for the entire U.K. economy.

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Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that Meghan had given birth to a baby boy.

There are a number of ways the birth of a royal baby impacts the economy over the short-term, according to John Quelch, dean of University of Miami Business School.

First, it can provide a bump for restaurants and bars around the U.K., as citizens hold parties – boosting confidence in the face of “Brexit malaise.”

“There’s nothing better than a royal baby arriving on a Friday because that is surely good for party business on Saturday and Sunday,” Quelch told FOX Business.

Additionally, there are endless licensing and merchandising opportunities. Souvenirs ahead of the birth had already hit shelves, as reported by The Daily Mail, including everything from T-shirts to mugs, phone cases and pillows. These items featured slogans such as “another royal baby on the way,” and “royal baby Harry & Meghan 2019.”

Other merchandising opportunities include apparel, based both on baby clothes and also what Meghan wears. Last month, a smock worn by Prince Louis – Prince William and Duchess Kate’s son – to Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party sold out around the world. Meanwhile, there have been a number of times that clothing worn by Duchess of Sussex, Kate Middleton, sold out within minutes.

Due to Meghan's connection to the U.S., there could be a “positive spillover” effect overseas that didn’t occur with the other royal children, Quelch said.

And then there is a potential tourism bump.

“It puts England back on the front page, there’s something new and different in England,” Quelch told FOX Business. “So from a tourism point of view, I’m sure British Airways will be hoping for triplets.”

The pair is foregoing the traditional baby photo call – which could put an initial damper on merchandising and licensing possibilities, according to Quelch. However, there is a longer-term possibility it will end up boosting prospects, as curiosity builds around the first photo.


Just how much of a boon could a royal baby be to the economy?

One expert told Hello! that sales in children’s clothing and products will increase by $1.47 billion over a two-year period.

However, Quelch said that estimates from prior royal children have generally put the overall boost in a more moderate range of up to around $980 million.

The effects, Quelch says, generally last for about two years maximum. However, sentiment over a royal baby could diminish sooner if there is another birth in the family.