Memorabilia for birth of royal baby

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Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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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.

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.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, suggested that the royal baby will bring retail sales of around £60 million or £70 million.

He said this is low compared with George’s birth, which boosted retail sales by around £247 million between July 1 and August 31 2013, with £78 million 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 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 George’s name and birth date, with the lion and unicorn from the Royal Arms supporting William and Kate’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.

Kate 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 historically mark royal events. Hours after George’s name was confirmed, Emma Bridgewater produced a “Hooray for George” half-pint mug with blue print including a heart emblem. The new royal baby’s mug will be in a similar vein, a spokeswoman for the firm said.

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 March 19.

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 and the new effigy of the Queen, which was unveiled in March. It will be presented in a white box tied with a purple ribbon and featuring the image of a silver carousel horse.

Thousands of commemorative coins were struck to celebrate the arrival of George and sold out within days.

The Royal Mint produced 10,000 solid silver crown-sized £5 coins, which cost £80 each, and 2,013 22-carat gold sovereigns, which cost £800 each. Both featured the prince’s namesake St George.

Babies born on the same day as George were also eligible to receive one of 2,013 free silver pennies.

When George turned one, the occasion was also marked by a commemorative £5 coin, making him the first member of the royal family to have his first birthday honoured with a new UK coin. His christening was also marked with a coin.

The Isle of Man Post Office marked George’s arrival with a £1 stamp.

The Highgrove Shop – profits from which go to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation – already sells organic baby balm for £24.95, a Highgrove baby bear for £34.95 and a “happy and glorious” baby blanket, featuring guards in red tunics and bearskin hats, priced at £94.95.

Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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