How Prince George Provides A "Baby Bump" For British Economy

Jul 25, 2013

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, leaves the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington in central London with her son Prince George Alexander Louis, third in line for the British throne.
Credit Carmen Rodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this week the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their son Prince George Alexander Louis, concluding seven months of speculation about the child who might someday sit on the British throne.

KGOU’s World Views host Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, was vacationing in Scotland Monday when the royal baby arrived.

She says while most residents she spoke with seemed more excited about Phil Mickelson winning the 2013 British open in nearby East Lothian, the economic impact of the heir to the throne is something everyone is talking about.

“There were a lot of wagers on the name of the baby, the birth date of the baby, the birth weight of the baby,” Grillot says. “So gambling has given the economy a bit of a boost. But also alcohol is giving the economy a bit of a boost. A lot of people want to toast the birth of the baby.”

The Centre for Retail Research estimates a £243 million ($380 million) boost to the British economy from the royal birth. The Centre’s director Joshua Bamfield told the International Business Times one of the biggest factors will be “unintentional royal brand endorsement.”

“The ‘Kate effect' has already taken the fashion world by storm ... and this trend will follow for the infant's baby grows, rattles, first bike and so on,” Bamfield said. “It’s a culture of ‘keeping up with the Cambridge’s’ that isn’t going away.”

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the College of International Studies, says there has been a lot of reason to celebrate in the United Kingdom over the past five years – The 2011 royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee last year, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“Where this differs from the other events – the wedding and the Jubilee for example, they were positive bumps but there were also negative effects on the economy because British folks got the day off to celebrate,” Cruise says. “In this instance, there's no day off, so there's not lost revenue from work. So it's all positive for the economy.”