Royal birth ‘to have impact on sales of prosecco’

COMMEMORATIVE china by the Royal Collection Trust, an Emma Bridgewater celebratory mug and a £5 coin will be among the souvenirs marking the birth of the royal baby.

Emma Bridgewater mugs made to mark the birth of Prince George. Picture: Getty
Emma Bridgewater mugs made to mark the birth of Prince George. Picture: Getty

Ahead of Prince George’s arrival in 2013, the memorabilia market was flooded with items ranging from potties and dummies featuring crowns to bibs proclaiming “I love Aunty Pippa” and a book entitled Shhh! Don’t Wake The Royal Baby!

The birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child is less of a monumental event. The baby, who is due before the end of the month, will be fourth in line to the throne and is not expected to ever rule as monarch.

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Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, suggested that the royal baby will bring in retail sales of around £60-£70 million.He said this is low compared with George’s birth, which boosted retail sales by around £247m between 1 July and 31 August 2013, with £78m spent on souvenirs and toys.

“It’s not so much of a major event when you have another baby,” Prof Bamfield said.

“I think it will have an impact on the sales of prosecco and champagne and cake but not much more than that.”

He added that the baby will have a more long-term impact on retail – just like the so-called “Kate and George effect” when outfits worn by the pair sell out in record time.

“When the baby has a certain sweater on, everybody will want to buy that. The impact of the baby is going to be the longer period – particularly if it’s a girl – the equipment they use, her clothes, her toys,” Prof Bamfield said.

The Royal Collection Trust is to issue an official range of commemorative china. The designs will not be unveiled until after the birth and confirmation of the baby’s sex and production is not likely to be completed until after the baby has been named.

For Prince George in July 2013, the Royal Collection produced items including a pillbox (£30), a small loving cup (£39), a dessert plate (£45) and a limited-edition loving cup (£195).

They featured a design of scrolls incorporating Prince George’s name and birth date, with the lion and unicorn from the Royal Arms supporting the duke and duchess’s coronet, surrounded by oak leaves from the Middleton coat of arms.

Emma Bridgewater confirmed it will issue a commemorative mug, with work set to start as soon as an official birth announcement is made.

The duchess has her own connection to the company, having visited its factory in Stoke-on-Trent to see a charity mug she helped design for East Anglia Children’s Hospices.

Staffordshire potteries traditionally mark royal events. The Royal Mint will produce a £5 coin in celebration after the Queen – the baby’s great-grandmother – approved the decision at a meeting of the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace on 19 March.

Babies born on the same day as the royal baby will also be eligible to receive one of 2,015 free “lucky” silver pennies.

Parents of newborns who share a birthday with the new prince or princess will have to register the birth of their child on the Royal Mint’s Facebook page to receive the commemorative gift.

The silver coin will be minted with the one penny’s Royal Shield design.