With the world’s attention once again gripped by a royal wedding, this time between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, there was one member of the family who wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to steal the show. Princess Charlotte, the second child of Prince William and Kate Middleton charmed viewers with her cheeky antics and enthusiasm for the spotlight.
The wedding itself was an event fit for the celebrity status of the bride, with figures from ABC Finance Ltd estimating costs of as much as £32m including £480k on food, £390k for Meghan’s dress and £250k for her ring. The largest cost was security which accounted for approximately £30m of the total spend. However, it wasn’t all fairy tale extravagance, the ceremony at Windsor Castle respectfully celebrated Markle’s heritage and combined centuries of formal tradition with contemporary flourishes.
Despite all the pageantry, not all eyes were on the happy couple. William and Kate’s children were on hand to provide an entertaining distraction. The royal children are celebrities in their own right, already leading clothing trends and proving to be naturals in front of the ever-present cameras.
Princess Charlotte has recently made royal history by maintaining her position in the line of succession following the birth of her brother Louis. This places her fourth in line to the throne behind Charles, William and George.
What many people don’t know, however, is that out of the three, Charlotte is currently worth more money than her brothers combined.
She is currently thought to be worth approximately £3bn. The main reason for her higher net worth is largely a result of the huge fashion influence she already wields.
Essentially, when photos of Charlotte or her mother are released to the public, they are more likely to inspire people to buy the outfits and brands they wear than those of George or Louis.
For example, in a photo of the Princess taken by Middleton, released to mark her second birthday, she wore a pastel yellow cardigan from John Lewis which subsequently sold out in 24 hours. This is imaginatively referred to as the “Charlotte Effect.”
To understand the secret of her success you need only look at the relative size of the male and female fashion markets. Charlotte’s endorsement is likely to influence a wider range of products and types of clothing than her brothers. This, in turn, creates a larger opportunity to monetise her brand, leading to a higher value
Even before she became a global fashion icon, there were early signs of her higher value. She brought in £100m to the economy simply by being born whereas George attracted £75 and the most recent addition, Louis fetched £50m respectively.
For comparison, George is currently estimated to be worth £2.4bn and it’s currently too soon to be sure of Prince Louis’ net value.
One thing to bear in mind when we’re discussing ‘net worth’ is that the substantial value assigned to each royal child doesn’t mean they can head out on a mad spending spree. As they haven’t been given an inheritance (or performed royal duties without parental supervision), their financial worth is estimated against their value to the UK’s economy.
One thing that’s absolutely certain is that the Windsors will be glad of all the extra support to the economy from George, Charlotte and Louis as raising a royal isn’t cheap.
- £18,112 on delivery
- £1,533 on antenatal care
- £18,540 on gynaecologist consultations
Their schooling also has a hefty price tag attached to it. Charlotte goes to Willcocks Nursery which costs £14,000 per year whilst George attends St. Thomas’s in Battersea (where Louis is also likely to end up once he’s reached school age) for £17,600.
Factor in nanny costs of £42,500 annually along with the amount it’s estimated it will take to clothe and feed each child from birth to 21 – £145,413 – and it’s no surprise that raising a royal is so much more expensive than the average UK child – £720k (royal) vs £235k (average).
For some, this may reignite the debate on whether the royals are worth as much to the country as they cost. The simple answer to this is yes.
If you subtract the official annual cost to taxpayers (£292.6m) from their contribution to the British economy (£1.766bn) the royal family brought in £1.47bn to the UK during 2017.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest benefit was tourism to locations related to royalty which netted the UK £550m.
Factor all of this in with the additional money pumped into our economy thanks to the everyone’s fascination with the royal children, especially Princess Charlotte, and there’s little wonder that they’re already valued in the billions.