Britain gives world a real-life princess Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their baby daughter in London (Reuters)
Britain gives world a real-life princess
Lexile

Britain's retailers might just be rejoicing as much as Kate and Wills about the birth of a new baby princess.

Baby boutiques, clothing stores and fashion designers received a gift that will keep on giving when the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a girl, and all the marketing opportunities she provides, instead of another boring boy, retail experts say. From christening gown to wedding dress, and all the hairstyles in between, every trend the newest royal sets will be fodder for girls seeking to emulate a real life princess.

"The royals having a baby girl is most likely to result in a financial windfall for everyone U.K. tourism and retailers alike," said Tonya Williams Bradford, a marketing expert at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. "Unlike with the birth of their beautiful baby boy, where the attention turns to whose next on the throne, this baby girl will provide many style opportunities, as her mother and the late Lady Diana did before her."

Consumers rush to buy all things royal because they are famous in a non-Kardashian way: internationally known but above celebrity. People want to copy what the former Kate Middleton and Prince William and now their children are wearing, to touch a bit of that distant gilded glow.

"People, particularly Americans, love it," said Pauline MacLaran, co-author of the upcoming book, "Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture." ''It's a fascination with a different kind of celebrity."

This goes way beyond commemorative china.

The Center for Retail Research in Nottingham estimated that George provided a 243 million-pound ($368 million) boost to the British economy in the nine weeks after his birth in 2013. But George was the royal couple's first child, the heir to the throne. The immediate impact of a second child will be smaller, about $121 million, the center predicted. But the fact that it is a girl opens up a host of long-term opportunities.

This is a princess, after all, a real-life Snow White, Cinderella or Princess Anna from "Frozen." The baby has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

From the moment Saturday when she first appeared in public with a knitted cream bonnet and every day for the rest of her life, fashionistas will ask: Who is she wearing? A princess isn't just a boon for this year. She's a boon forever.

"It's more fun in general terms and cultural terms when you are dressing up a girl," said Anusha Couttigane, a senior fashion consultant at Conlumino, a London-based retail research firm. "It's just normal that girls attract more attention to fashion."

Couttigane expects the royal couple to continue their practice of using widely available brands from firms even the average person can afford. That's reflected in the white dress Kate wore in the couple's engagement photo sold by U.K. retailer Reiss, for example. British brands are also likely to do well.

"Kate and William are quite down to Earth royals," she said.

Whatever they wear has extra appeal because the royals don't do advertising. They do grant warrants a mark of recognition of those who supply goods or services to the Royal Household. Yardley of London, for example, has one for being the manufacturer of toiletry products to the queen.

But it just isn't the same thing as standing before a camera with a bottle of shampoo in your hand. That would just not be done. Ever.

The royals have always been trendsetters. Queen Victoria recognized her marketing power, once hosting a ball to promote the silk industry in east London. Princess Diana, the new baby's grandmother, was on another level altogether, with every bow or lamb sweater making cash registers ring. That has carried over to Kate, who is copied so much that anything she touches is sprinkled with the stardust of the "Kate Effect."

Prince George, the first heir to the throne born in the Internet age, has demonstrated similar appeal.

The swaddle in which George was snuggled in when he emerged from the hospital prompted parents around the world to say: What is the prince wrapped in? Within four hours, the website of swaddle maker aden+anais had crashed. The next day, it crashed again. In nine days, the New York company had received 7,000 orders for that item a 600-percent increase.

More recently, he appeared in a blue Cath Kidston sweater featuring soldiers in red tunics and bearskin hats. It sold out and then popped up on eBay at twice the price.

It is time to think pink?

"(Consumers) can go mad over all the girlie things," MacLaran said of princess appeal. "You don't see little boys dressing up in prince outfits, but you see girls do it all the time."

Catherine Hudson, beauty and fashion editor at Prima Baby magazine, said Kate is likely to follow the Countess of Wessex, whose 11-year-old daughter has worn Pale Cloud a Norwegian brand also popular with the Scandinavian royals.

"I think she will mainly stick to traditional silhouettes ... and, hopefully, continue supporting great British design," Hudson said.

And the marketing opportunities are likely to stretch beyond Britain's borders, Bradford said.

"There may even be opportunities as far afield as Disney with their expanding Princess collection," Bradford said. "I believe this opportunity to market the female dynasty of the royal family will truly inspire many market opportunities!"

Critical thinking challenge: Why does this baby girl create long-term opportunities?

Assigned 23 times


COMMENTS (24)
  • treyb-Che
    5/07/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    there may even be opportunities as far afield as Disney with their expanding Princess collection Bradford said. I believe this opportunity to market the female.

  • rositap-Che
    5/07/2015 - 01:57 p.m.

    I would understand why they would make such a big thing for the princess. They are all making new clothes fashion stuff. That's really nice and her name is Charlotte which is a cute name.

  • odalysr-Lam
    5/07/2015 - 03:49 p.m.

    She creates long term opportunities beacause they won't have to worry when they die. Cause they will have somebody close to them to take there place.

  • nickb-Lam
    5/07/2015 - 03:55 p.m.

    I hope they do not name her Elsa. Also I hope they do. Not dress her like frozen characters.

  • alexcl-Lam
    5/07/2015 - 03:55 p.m.

    This is interesting and all but if they named her Elsa and this turns into Frozen Gummy Bears are gonna die today!

  • NickB-2
    5/07/2015 - 11:09 p.m.

    This article is about the royal baby. Recently, Prince William had a baby daughter. She is named Charollette Elizabeth Diana, named after 3 previous princesses. She has had a huge impact on the economy in England, as the royal family has always been trend-setters. Retailers are happy that she is a girl and not another boy, as it opens up a huge range of variety in their royalty-based clothes. I personally think that it is ridiculous that the UK makes such a huge deal out of a baby being born as it happens thousands of times a day, and despite his heritage, this a
    baby is no better or worse than all the other babies in the world.

  • brookef-Goo
    5/08/2015 - 09:02 a.m.

    The baby girl creates long-term opportunities. The text states, "The royals having a baby girl is most likely to result in a financial windfall for everyone U.K. tourism and retailers alike" meaning the baby will bring in people to see what she's wearing and it will bring in more money. The text also states, "It's just normal that girls attract more attention to fashion." More fashion people are going to come and always ask her what she is wearing. The evidence from the text clarifies how the baby girl creates long-term opportunities.

  • marya-Goo
    5/08/2015 - 10:18 a.m.

    The baby girl creates long-term opportunities. The text states that the baby will provide style opportunities to industries. The text also states that people want to buy products related to the royals. This evidence from the text suggests that the new baby girl will give the fashion and marketing industries long-term opportunities,

  • kimj-boo
    5/08/2015 - 11:16 a.m.

    This baby will girl create long-term opportunities as far afield as Disney with their expanding princess collection.This opportunity to market the female dynasty of the royal family will truly inspire many market opportunities.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    5/08/2015 - 12:32 p.m.

    They're seriously going to this little baby's life to market and get more money. Yes, a real life princess is so cool but she's a human too. Plus, she has a brother so unless something tragic happens she won't be queen for a very long time, if ever.

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