Royal baby racket?

The royal baby's birth is a time for celebration... and profiteering. 

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
Royal supporters Gladys Richardson, left, and John Loughrey gesture to photographers as they await the departure of Britain's Prince William, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince of Cambridge outside St. Mary's Hospital's exclusive Lindo Wing in London, Tuesday July 23, 2013.

Yesterday Britain welcomed Prince William and wife Kate's first child, the prince of Cambridge. As the third in line for the British throne, the child’s birth is reason for many to celebrate … and to rake in the cash.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced last month that they would not prohibit the selling of royal baby paraphernalia, thereby giving royal consent to a veritable torrent of kitschy souvenirs flooding Britain’s market, according to The Washington Post.

The British economy is about to undergo a royal baby boom. As The Christian Science Monitor reports:

The queen’s loyal subjects will spend approximately  £243 million (or $372.6 million) celebrating the prince’s birth, according to the UK-based firm Centre for Retail Research (CRR). That estimate includes £87 million on celebrations and party supplies, £80 million on merchandise like souvenirs and toys, and £76 million on media including books, DVDs, magazines, and newspapers.

Some of the royal baby memorabilia is quite tame, such as the royal baby mug offered by Harrods, complete with the image of a crowned teddy bear (sorry, it's sold out now). Other products, however, test the limits of tactfulness. Take the royal baby sick bag for example, designed by British artist Lydia Leith.

And it’s not only the commoner businesses who are getting in on the royal baby racket; the royal family is poised to make a pretty penny from the newborn’s arrival. As the Mirror reports, the royal family will be releasing its own line of merchandise to celebrate the royal couple’s first child. This will be the first time that the Royal Collection Trust, the charitable organization which manages the monarchy's art collection and oversees its official memorabilia line, will be releasing baby items as souvenirs. And considering that the family sold £5 million ($7.67 million) worth of royal wedding souvenirs, it looks as though the royal baby will quite profitable.

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