As the tourist season comes into full swing this month, visitors from around the world have flocked to the UK and a heightened interest in all things royal has emerged.
The hype was seen at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011, last year at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and this year at Her Majesty's 60th Coronation anniversary. The most significant date for 2013 was, however, the birth of Prince George on July 22, and the nation is still seeing the positive effects, particularly when it comes to tourism.
"The royal baby gives us an opportunity to provide some great family friendly travel ideas and of course heighten the profile of our royal attractions across Britain," said Mark Di-Toro of tourism board VisitBritain, making special reference to St. Andrews, Anglesey, Norfolk and Cambridge.
Just as a record-breaking 600,000 people visited Buckingham Palace in the two months it was open in 2012, it is expected that the birth of Prince George will have a similar effect on tourism. "We also hope to see that there will be demand for memorabilia like key rings, tea towels and china," said Mark.
The official chinaware collection made by the Royal Collection Trust is probably the most elegant and well thought-out memorabilia range produced. Each fine china piece bears the full name and birth date of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, and is decorated with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's gold coronet. The design on each item also endearingly combines details from the Royal Arms, a unicorn and a lion, with those from the Middleton's coat of arms, oak leaves.
While some merchandisers strayed from convention and created more unusual, amusing souvenirs such as Union Jack-printed baby onesies, the Royal Collection Trust took the more traditional route.
Their range includes limited edition mementos, such as the adorable Royal Baby Teddy Bear and the luxurious Royal Baby Loving Cup, but also more readily-available pieces such as the Commemorative Dessert Plate and Royal Baby Mug.
The producers clearly thought hard about the collection and included seasonal items, such as the dainty gold-embroidered tree decorations that come in shapes of hearts and prams. Everyday items include a Royal Baby Tea Towel, which the cheapest item in the range, while the more off-beat products include a Commemorative Pill Box and a Royal Baby Velvet Cushion.
Each piece has been made in Stoke-on-Trent by the same potteries that produced the official range to celebrate Prince William and Kate's wedding in 2011, as well as the commemorative china to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's Coronation.
Highgrove, the country residence of Prince George's grandfather, Prince Charles, has also released an official range of memorabilia, especially designed for babies and children. The Organic Baby Hamper is filled with toiletries, but the main delight is the little teddy bear, which has been handmade by one of the oldest English toy manufacturers, Merrythought, and features antique gold mohair. The toy lamb is another endearing part of the Highgrove range, and is made with the softest fleece for children to cuddle up to.
A version of this article appeared at hellomagazine.com with the headline "Royal baby hype continues with official memorabilia."