The circus surrounding the coming child of the U.K's Prince William and Kate Middleton isn't just a global womb-watch. It's also estimated to bring $380 million into the U.K.'s economy. And even though the country's economic growth has ticked up a bit of late, Britain could still use the help.
Where's this stimulus to come from, exactly? First, there are the parties. Joshua Bamfield, director of the Center for Retail Research, told Reuters that he estimates 4.8 million people will spend 62 million pounds on booze and 25 million pounds on food at parties to celebrate the royal infant. Bamfield also expects tourism to kick up in the months surrounding the birth, as it did by 13 percent in April. And some of that money will, as Bamfield told CNN, be spent on Keeping Up With the Windsors, as he expects more people to spend more on their own personal babies, as "they will want their baby in the local area to be up-market as well."
But most of all? The commemorative kitsch. So, so much kitsch.
Bamfield estimates that 156 million pounds will be spent on royal baby souvenirs. That's about $238 million. And who wouldn't want to spend his or her hard-earned money on the troves of commemorative ephemera? Especially when you can get stuff like this at least mildly demonic baby doll:
Or these morning sickness bags from Lydia Leith:
There is some skepticism here, however. Mothercare, a U.K. baby-goods retailer, has
There's one other stimulative aspect that isn't purely economic. When Prince William was born in 1982, there was speculation from the Family Planning Association that the royal birth would help kick up Britain's declining birth rate. That rate has shot up lately, to its highest level since 1972. But there is some