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Royal birth set to give much needed boost to businesses

As news of the royal birth is celebrated around the globe a flood of souvenirs and memorabilia will go on sale to mark the occasion - and give a much-needed boost for British businesses.

Mugs, tea towels, plates, postcards and dolls are expected to appear within days of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby being born and a name released.

Days after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they were expecting their first baby memorabilia had already hit the shelves, as when they publicly revealed their engagement.

Commemorative plates and mugs celebrating the couple's engagement were produced at Aynsley China Works in Longton near Stoke on Trent. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Stoke-on-Trent, the home of England's pottery industry, is a hive of activity as companies gear up for the moment William and Kate's baby is named.

Dr Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, highlighted how foreign collectors, especially from countries such as America and Japan, prize items from the UK.

  • Watch: Kate's Baby Bounce: Tonight, 7.30pm on Thursday July 25, ITV 1

This will be a welcome boost for UK tableware and giftware manufacturers, generating significant sales for many companies in the UK and overseas.

UK manufacturers are uniquely placed to commence manufacturing as soon as the baby's name is announced and so respond rapidly to orders.

Many customers value the 'Made in England' backstamp on cherished family items such as these marking royal occasions.

Commemorative mugs were produced at the Emma Bridgewater Pottery days after it was announced that the couple were expecting a child. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Pottery firms will have had nine months to develop their designs for royal baby memorabilia and will be waiting for the moment the name is announced to launch their full range.

For many companies, this could be a significant part of their sales - it could be as much as 5%-10%.

Clothing retailers will also be looking to cash in on the birth of the royal baby.

One company has launched a limited edition sleeping bag for babies with a selection of embroidered symbols to represent the interests of William and Kate.

The Gro Company - a provider of baby sleeping suits for safer sleep - has launched the limited edition bespoke His and Her Royal Grobag for newborns to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby.

The Grobags are being sold for £70 each with all proceeds going to The Lullaby Trust - a provider of specialist support for bereaved families and promoter of expert advice on safer baby sleep.

The Gro Company has launched the limited edition bespoke His and Her Royal Grobag for newborns. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Above the gold stitching of 'His/Her Royal Grobag', there is a helicopter and a toy horse which are a reference to William's career as a pilot and his love of polo.

Kate's days as a hockey player are alluded to with a hockey stick, while their joint love for their dog Lupo features too.

This is all accompanied by a small troop of toy soldiers which the company suggests stands guard over proceedings.

Only 120 of these special limited edition Royal Grobags have been created (60 of each sex) in white, gold and cyan for boys and white, gold and fuchsia for girls.

Early Learning Centre staff up and down the country have been busy stocking 50,000 limited edition royal family toy sets overnight.

The Happyland Royal baby set. Credit: Early Learning Centre/PA Wire

Memorabilia to mark the royal birth will be led by the official range produced by the Royal Collection Trust.

In recent years, the organisation has produced high-quality bone china items to mark historic moments for the monarchy.

A spokeswoman for the trust said:

Royal Collection Trust has produced a number of commemorative china ranges to celebrate royal anniversaries and events, most recently for the royal wedding, the Diamond Jubilee, and the anniversary of the coronation in 2013.

An official range to celebrate the birth of a future monarch would be made, but not until after the event.

The Royal Collection Trust produced this mug and tea towel to commemorate William and Kate's wedding. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

If the trust follows its past ranges, it will probably produce a collection of items to commemorate the baby, who will be third in line to the throne.

These could include a coffee mug, tankard, pillbox and plate decorated with a floral pattern or even heraldic creatures.

The pieces are likely to feature the individual cyphers of the Duke and Duchess - their initials, W or C, below a coronet - the baby's name and date it was born.

Julie Scott puts the final touches on a Rocking Horse, a souvenir to commemorate the birth of the royal baby. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

In past years, members of the monarchy have approved designs before they have gone into production, so William and Kate are likely to have already cast an eye over the plans.

Unusual items that have marked royal births include a ceramic thimble produced to commemorate the Prince of Wales, who was born on November 14, 1948.

For those who like a flutter, the royal birth provides ample opportunity for a punt on facts and figures associated with the future monarch.

Bets can be made on a whole host of facts from the baby's hair colour to the time it will be born.

The most popular bets with punters are around trying to guess the name of William and Kate's first child - and it won't be long to wait now.

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