Royal Baby watch has now shifted into high gear. The Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Kate Middleton) is due to give birth any day now, and the public is monitoring her pregnancy very closely. After all, the baby is heir to the British throne and will arguably be the most famous child of the decade.

There’s been much fanfare surrounding Will & Kate’s baby, and in this age of social media, news spreads like wild fire. More of the world will be looped into the hoopla, and people have already started getting involved in baby countdown activities. There have been bets on everything from the child’s gender to what the baby’s name is going to be. It is certainly an affair that many people are paying attention to.

More than the notion of having a future king or queen, the royal birth is exciting because it is expected to bring in a lot of money for the country, giving the British economy quite a boost. According to Britain’s Center for Retail Research, the royal event could bring in nearly $400 million!

People will want to commemorate the occasion by participating in festivities and buying Royal Baby souvenirs, books, DVDs, and other media. Along with the boost in retail spending, the royal birth is also expected to help British tourism.

Then, once the child is actually born, another factor will come into play – royal brand endorsement, intentional or not. Since marrying Prince William, Kate has become somewhat of a style trendsetter, making her mark on the fashion world. This trend will obviously carry over when the Royal Baby arrives. People will look at what the child wears, the toys he/she plays with, and so on, so forth.

For most parents, having a baby means incurring a significant financial cost. For the British royals, having a baby means receiving positive publicity and in many ways, helping the country’s economy! The money that celebrity babies bring in is miniscule compared to what the Royal Baby will bring in!

And for all of us commoners out there who won’t make money from having babies, raising children will continue to be expensive, but there is no price we can put on the love that parents have for their own children – royal or not.

If you’re a parent, how much did you spend in preparation for your newborn? Are there some things you did (or continue to do) to save money?

(We’ll talk about the cost of raising a child in another post!)