With just over a month to go until the Big Day, the ‘Meghan effect’ has taken hold as brands sell out of bags and clothes and the tourism industry prepares for a major boost.
On Saturday 19 May, Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in a celebration which is anticipated to add at least half a billion pounds to the UK’s economy, experts say.
Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to see a big increase in tourism, as well as a surge in spending on merchandise commemorating the royal wedding.
Looking back, findings published by the UK Office of National Statistics show the marriage of Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William, to Kate Middleton in April 2011 boosted the number of visitors to the UK by 350,000 in that month alone.
Adding to this, the Centre for Retail Research figures show that British retail spending saw an increase of £527 million from the ‘Kate and Wills’ wedding, including £199 million on wedding souvenirs and memorabilia over the public holiday.
Whilst the spending might be less pronounced for the forthcoming wedding (Prince Harry is not the king in waiting) retailers are likely to see a large and much needed spike in sales in May, and hotel bookings across the country are set to soar.
According to consultants Brand Finance, royal endorsements, previously dubbed the ‘Kate effect’ but now being referred to as the ‘Meghan effect’, account for about £200 million a year. In her first public outing, Meghan was seen to be carrying a £495 handbag by British designer Strathberry’s which sold out on its website within hours. A huge positive for retailers and big boost for British brands.
Hotels in Windsor are already sold out and Airbnb is offering individual rooms in private homes with no views of the parade for around £500 for a night. U.S. television networks are also purportedly offering local residents large sums of money to rent out their homes during the Royal wedding.
What’s more, local businesses are showing an entrepreneurial flair. The Windsor and Eton Brewery, for example, has launched a commemorative beer called ‘Harry and Meghan’s Windsor Knot’ in the hope of cashing in on the Royal wedding.
And, if you fancy a city break with a difference, head to Zetter Townhouse, around the corner from our offices in Clerkenwell. They’re offering a ‘Celebration Package’, comprising of a Royale cocktail and a special Royal Wedding afternoon tea. You’ll even get to take home your very own copy of Debrett’s handbook, the complete guide to British etiquette – and you can pop in and visit us for a coffee and some expert business advice!
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