Why Princess Charlotte is already worth £3 billion

Sep 8, 2015

The new royal baby beats Prince George, but Kate Middleton is worth even more to the British economy

Princess Charlotte may only be five months old, but no-one can accuse the young princess of failing to pay her way. According to business valuation agency Brand Finance, the newest addition to the royal family is worth a staggering £3.2bn – more than her big brother Prince George, whose net present value was estimated to be £2.4bn.

"Prince George will be king one day, but his sister is where the money is," says CNN Money.

However, both youngsters will struggle to rival their mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, whose value is estimated to be nearly £4.8bn.

"The unofficial endorsement of Charlotte, George and their mother Kate, in particular, has a profound financial, effect running into millions annually," said David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, told IB Times.

Despite having appeared in public on only two occasions since her birth, much of the value that Princess Charlotte brings to the economy comes from the boost her outfits have given to the nation's fashion retailers.

Items of clothing worn by both the young royals have consistently generated massive demand across the world. From the moment she first appeared the world outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in May this year, Charlotte has been a trend-setter. The Nottingham firm that produced the £68 shawl in which she left the hospital spoke of a "dramatic increase in demand" after images of the infant wearing the garment were beamed around the world.

Similarly, the manufacturer behind the glamorous vintage pram, which brought Charlotte to her christening, told CNN that it had been "inundated with messages, emails and calls" in the aftermath of the ceremony.

As the princess grows older and appears in a wider variety of outfits, there is good reason to believe that the "Charlotte effect" is sure to be felt even more keenly in the retail industry. Prince George's outfits, credited with bringing retro styles back into vogue, have already stirred demand – and his sister's are likely to do the same.

Princess Charlotte's first holiday: where is she going?

18 August

Princess Charlotte will enjoy her first foreign holiday in November, it has been revealed, when she and the family will be jetting off to the isle of Mustique.

The last time Prince William and Kate Middleton were on holiday together, they left the then six month-old Prince George in the care of his maternal grandparents. This time around, the Daily Mail reports they will be taking both George and Charlotte along with them, as well as Kate's mother Carole and sister Pippa.

The Caribbean island is a favourite destination for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who had enjoyed a "babymoon" holiday shortly before George's birth in 2013. The Middletons have holidayed on the island, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, on a multiple occasions.

During their November trip, when temperatures are set to reach around 30 degrees Celsius, Princess Charlotte and the family will be keeping cool in a private villa. The Daily Star claims that the royals and their guests will be staying at the £13,000-a-week Aurora House. The luxury accommodation boasts a 45ft swimming pool, private sun deck and a staff of five including a butler and housekeeper.

So what will the royals be up to on holiday? One draw for the Cambridges is that Mustique is a private island, consisting of around 100 holidays villas and a luxury hotel, enabling the pair to let their hair down in a way that is impossible practically anywhere else. A guest who met the royal couple at a cocktail party on the island told Hello magazine that William and Kate were dressed in normal tourist clothing and acted "just like everybody else".

On previous trips, the Cambridges have enjoyed scuba diving, snorkelling and even tried their hands at deep shark dives. With both children in tow, however, it is likely they will stick to some of their less intense hobbies, such as tennis and swimming.

Princess Charlotte: perfect portraits or PR nonsense?

17 July

The official photographs of Princess Charlotte's christening have won praise from much of the world's media – but one critic has denounced them as "fake PR nonsense".

Kensington Palace released four official portraits of the royal family celebrating in Norfolk on Sunday. They were captured by Mario Testino, the Peruvian fashion photographer who was famously chosen by Princess Diana to photograph her for Vanity Fair in 1997.

One image shows the royal family and the Middletons at Sandringham House, the Queen's private residence, with three generations of royal successors: Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.

Another photograph shows Kate Middleton, Prince William and their two children posing in the Sandringham House garden. Vanity Fair describes it as the "perfect portrait", while the Daily Express claims it shows Britain's "happiest family".

Testino's greatest achievement is undoubtedly to have made Prince George laugh, says the Daily Telegraph, referring to a third father and son image. "The famously grumpy toddler has never given such a toothy grin for an official picture, but showed a smile usually only seen by his family as he was photographed being held by the Duke of Cambridge," says the newspaper.

The fourth Testino shot, showing Kate Middleton holding Princess Charlotte, featured on today's Daily Mail front page, with the caption: "Isn't she scrumptious?"

But Jonathan Jones at The Guardian has denounced the portraits as a "sickly sweet lie".

He concedes that Kate Middleton and Prince William have "plenty to smile about", but says "Testino, the world's most horrible flatterer of wealth and status, makes every smile look phoney".

The Cambridges have been robbed of true personality by Testino's "faux-honest" glamour shot, says Jones. "This is fake PR nonsense… We – and the royals – deserve better."

Jones claims the Cambridges have become too valuable to royal publicity to be allowed to be real. "They are turning into living lies – the impossibly perfect people with their impossibly perfect children," he says. "Please, let them be human."

Princess Charlotte's Norland nanny baffles Australian press

8 July

Princess Charlotte's christening was the event of the month for royal-watchers, attracting attention around the Commonwealth and beyond. Newspapers and magazines across the world featured pictures of the three-month-old Princess, as well as the scene-stealing Prince George and the "elegant" Duchess of Cambridge.

But the Australian media were less impressed by the outfit worn by the children's nanny, Maria Borallo, whose old-fashioned hemlines and starched collars were met with derision. "If the Duchess of Cambridge can be a global fashion icon why can't the nanny entrusted with helping her raise Prince George and baby Charlotte?" asked the Australian Daily Telegraph.

Borallo was photographed alongside the royals outside St Mary Magdalene Church, wearing a distinctive beige gown, white gloves and bowler hat bearing the 'N' of Norland College, the elite nanny training institute of which Spanish-born Borallo is a graduate.

The Telegraph went on to suggest that Borallo's peculiar attire appeared to be "propelling the christening back to the Edwardian period".

Equally baffled was the Sydney Morning Herald, which said the royal nanny "appeared to have come straight from her community theatre's production of Mary Poppins". The newspaper added that she resembled a "lukewarm latte picked up from a roadside fuel station".

Borallo's much-maligned uniform is the traditional apparel of the students at Norland College in Bath, which has been training top-drawer nannies since 1892. The brown and beige ensemble is still worn by trainees at lectures and formal events, although their day-to-day practical uniform consists of navy blue trousers and jumper.

The Norland website specifies that graduates of the school are not required to wear the formal uniform, "unless the family specifically wants them to". This suggests that Borallo continues to don the famous Norland attire at the behest of the Cambridges.

Borallo, 44, was chosen from a shortlist of Norland graduates interviewed by the Duke and Duchess when they were hunting for a nanny for Prince George, and she has been working for the couple since March 2014, according to the Daily Mail. Her experience working with other high-profile families is said to have clinched her the role, which the Daily Express suggests pays in the region of £38,000 per year.

What does it take to be a Norland Nanny?

The Norland Institute (now College) was founded in 1892 by Emily Ward in response to a demand for properly trained nannies rather than the housemaids or governesses usually in charge of well-off children.

Students at the college train for three years to receive the prized Norland Diploma, part of a full BA in early years development. The course combines theory and practice of childcare, and includes placements in nurseries, schools or families. By the end of the course, students will have mastered the correct techniques for everything from bathing and changing an infant to sewing and party planning.

Working for some of the world's richest and most prominent families also means being prepared for danger. Whether it's intrusive paparazzi or the threat of kidnapping, Norland nannies must be ready to protect their charges in any situation. This means that students are trained in taekwondo, as well as "evasive driving" to escape unwanted media attention. As far as anyone knows, Borallo has not yet been called on to use either of these skills, but her press-dodging credentials may come in handy as the young royals grow older and appear in public more frequently.

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