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When Royal Babies Become More Powerful than the Queen

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Royal Babies may not have the Queen’s power to give Royal Assent to legislature – putting laws and bills passed by parliament into effect – but the modern age has seen the newest generation of Royals become, in some ways, far more influential than their great grandmother.

“Prior to his birth, Baby Sussex was calculated by the Centre for Retail Research to be worth around £1.25bn”

From the moment they are born, a Royal Baby is an influencer, even though, obviously, they do not have their own social media accounts. The fevered coverage afforded to them by the press soon makes its way onto the internet and onto social media channels, where the public’s appetite for Royal Baby content sees images of the youngsters shared millions – perhaps even billions – of times before they have even spoken their first word.

To put things into perspective, let’s have a quick rundown of what the more senior members of the British Royals are worth (source):

  • Queen Elizabeth II – £325m
  • Prince Philip – £23m
  • Prince Charles – £76m
  • Prince William and Prince Harry – £30.5m each
  • Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge – £7.6m
  • Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex – £3.8m

With the elders of the family – particularly Queen Elizabeth II – much of this wealth comes from properties owned by the Crown Estate, or from their own business ventures, such as the Duchy Originals brand of organically-farmed foods owned by Prince Charles.

There is, however, another sense in which the Royals have a financial impact, an excellent example of this being Kate Middleton’s style earmarking her as an unofficial patron of high street fashion brands. In making consciously down-to-earth fashion choices, the Duchess of Cambridge used her influence positively to draw attention to brands such as Topshop, Zara, Gap and Jaeger, at a time when online shopping has put high street chains at particular risk.

“It has been estimated that Princess Charlotte will be worth £3bn through fashion influence alone.”

The Duchess of Cambridge’s impact, known colloquially as ‘The Kate Effect’, has been calculated to be worth approximately £1bn annually to the UK economy. Meanwhile, Meghan Markle is hot on her sister-in-law’s heels, having displayed an ability to cause a 2000% increase in sales of Outland Denim jeans during her trip to Australia, or have a simple black jumper from Marks and Spencer sell out… twice over.

This is the sense in which the new generation of Royal Babies is valued economically, and the figures are astronomical. It has been estimated that Princess Charlotte will be worth £3bn through fashion influence alone over the course of her lifetime – which seems a conservative estimate in light of The Kate Effect. A photo of Princess Charlotte wearing a yellow John Lewis cadigan to mark her second birthday caused the item to sell out within 24 hours. Prince George – the future King of England – is expected to bring in £2.4bn.

Prior to his birth, Baby Sussex was calculated by the Centre for Retail Research to be worth around £1.25bn to the infant fashion industry over the first two years of his life, on top of the £50-£70m boon he was expected to provide the service industry in terms of souvenirs and food and drink bought in the period immediately surrounding his delivery.

Without a doubt, today’s young Royals are the true movers and shakers of the British Monarchy, particularly when it comes to their fashion sense (or the fashions that have been chosen for them). It’s a unique development in Royal history, where new technology and methods of communication have turned the influence of the Royals – in some respects – on its head.

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