Until recently Princess Charlotte would have had her position in line to the throne shifted down by the arrival of a younger brother.
Not only did the Succession to the Crown Act change that, meaning she is fourth in line to the throne after Charles, William and George, but now a new study by Reader’s Digest has suggested that she’s actually worth more than her brothers, because of her impact on the British economy.
You’ve heard of the Kate effect, the Meghan effect, and now the Charlotte effect is catching on, meaning that parents are buying their children the same clothes as the young princess – boosting her influence on people’s spending.
Items like the blue Pepa & Co headband she wore to Prince Louis’ are immediately identified, written about and bought all over the UK, which just isn’t the case for brother Prince George or any of the other male members of the royal family.
Remember the pastel yellow John Lewis cardigan Charlotte wore in her official second birthday photo? It sold out in 24 hours. Brand Finance's marketing and communications director Robert Haigh explained to Marie Claire why this doesn’t happen with items worn by the male members of the royal family.
‘This is actually as simple as the relative size of the men's and women's fashion markets, by which I mean that Charlotte's endorsement effect will likely be felt across a much broader range of products and brands or types of clothing than will George's, allowing a greater scope for the monetization of her 'brand' and hence a higher value.’
You could say the obsession with what the women of the royal family wear is a little sexist, they are about more than just their clothes or hair, but this influence could be used to boost business for British brands and make a name for smaller brands around the UK.
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The downside of the Kate-effect was brought to light by what was a little-known brand called Issa, when Kate wore one of their wrap dresses for her engagement pictures back in 2010. The dress sold out in five minutes, and the pre-order list was overwhelming.
‘From the day of the royal engagement our sales doubled. I didn’t have the money to finance production on that scale. The bank refused to give me credit, and the factory was screaming for me to pay its bills. I needed an investor,’ Helayel told the Daily Mail at the time.
Although the brand did receive external investment and appointed a new CEO, the stress was too much for Helayel, and she quit the business.
‘I felt so stressed that my hair went white and started falling out. I was broken by the end of it. I had a great business, which I’d built up on my own over a decade. To watch it evaporate was heartbreaking’ she said
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Trooping The Colour, June 2016
When the royals emerged onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace for last year's queenly birthday celebrations, we couldn't help but notice that Charlotte's smocked dress and tiny sandals were almost the exact shade of pale pink as her mother's fascinator. The Princess's regal wave, however, is pure Elizabeth II.
Trip To Canada, October 2016
For touchdown in British Columbia ahead of the tour of Canada, the royal blue of Kate's bespoke Jenny Packham shift dress found its echo in Charlotte's trademark buckled sandals. The Princess's pale blue patterned dress, meanwhile, is another cute mini-me nod to her mum's look.
A Christmas Day outing to St Mark's Church in Berkshire (later the venue for Pippa Middleton's wedding) saw Kate re-wear an old favourite coat from Hobbs, with Princess Charlotte's wine-coloured tights, jumper and bow chiming perfectly with her mum's suede clutch.
Pippa's Wedding, May 2017
Given that bridal party dressing is all about matchy-matchy nods, we're fully aware that including this look verges on cheating. It's so sweet, however, that we simply had to - and the sash of Charlotte's Pepa & Co bridesmaid dress comes in an almost identical hue to that of Kate's McQueen outfit...
Trooping The Colour, June 2017
When it comes to Trooping the Colour, a bold pop of colour is clearly the key to standing out on a balcony filled with the Queen's nearest and dearest. Kate's bubblegum pink dress and fascinator ensemble (the former courtesy of the Duchess's favoured designer, Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton) provides just that. Charlotte, too, wore pink, her patterned summer frock in a slightly softer - but still complementary - shade.
Arrival In Berlin, July 2017
For the second stage of their European charm offensive, the Cambridges headed to Berlin, where Kate and Charlotte both opted for diplomatic dressing: Kate's Catherine Walker coat dress is in Prussian blue, a shade which holds historical significance in Germany, while the colour of Charlotte's smock is surely a nod to the cornflower, traditionally a symbol of the country...