How Much Money Does a Royal Baby Generate for the British Economy?
It's a pretty penny.
When it comes to what the British royal family contributes to the U.K., there's always been trouble reaching a consensus — especially when it comes to their economic impact. While some experts say the monarchy serves as a steady source of economic gain, others maintain their contributions are exaggerated.
But one thing everyone can agree on? International interest in the royals means tourists — and tourists mean money. If there's a big event on the horizon, like a wedding or new baby (*cough* Baby Sussex *cough*), you can expect there's a lot more of it.
Take, for example, Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 nuptials. MarketWatch reported that the U.K. saw a £300 million (more than $390 million in United States currency) jump in tourist revenue.
And when Prince George was born in 2013, London saw record-breaking tourist numbers, with more than 29 million overseas and U.K. visitors, according to Evening Standard. (The 2015 arrival of Princess Charlotte saw even more tourists — nearly 32 million throughout the year.)
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The numbers are impressive, for sure, though it can be difficult to attribute the bump in tourists to cuties like George and Charlotte alone. Especially when, according to The Telegraph, a large majority of the nearly $6 billion made from tourism each year can be traced back to the royal family. However, that doesn't mean we're any less interested in how much money Baby Sussex will be raking in for the British economy when Meghan Markle gives birth this spring.
"While it's impossible to quantify the effect the birth of a new royal baby will have on the number of tourists visiting London, it's clear that London's ... royal connections and attractions are key drivers that attract people from the U.K. and abroad to the capital," Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners told the Evening Standard.
When Prince Louis arrived in 2018, two different U.K.-based consumer trends research firms told Money that the little prince would generate somewhere between $70 million and $125 million in just a few weeks. Restaurants, retail businesses and hotels are just a few of the establishments that benefited from that boost. And experts say those numbers paled in comparison to the ones they saw when Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. (Sorry, Louis.)
Speaking of the eldest little royals, Insider reported that Prince George and Princess Charlotte are said to make hefty economic contributions — $3.2 billion and $4.3 billion, respectively — to the country they call home throughout their lifetimes. And it's already begun, as British clothing brands and toy companies see a boost from their association with the tots.
"These numbers are projections of what the royal children could bring the U.K. economy in their lifetimes, assuming they will continue to have the same positive effect," brand finance communications manager Sehr Sarwar told the publication, noting that a lifetime contribution for little Prince Louis hasn't yet been calculated.
As for Baby Sussex, the jury is still out on just how much the little one will generate for the British economy — but the high tens of millions seems about right if we take a cue from his or her cousins. And given the interest in Meghan and Harry's little one specifically — he or she will be the first modern biracial royal, and half-American at that — we have a feeling the new addition might even attract more.