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Royal Baby to spark rise in tourist visits

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ROYAL attractions in Edinburgh are expecting a surge in visitor numbers as tourists flock to share in the baby joy.

Holyrood Palace, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Castle could all cash in on the birth of the future king with thousands more sightseers than usual anticipated in coming months.

National tourism board, VisitScotland, has forecast an upsurge in global interest similar to the royal wedding 
two years ago.

The so-called “William and Kate effect” saw record numbers of people boarding Britannia in 2011 with 74,000 flocking in the three months after they tied the knot.

Royal souvenirs flew off the shelves of the gift shop and now its lines in baby clothing and presents are likely to prove another big hit.

Once holiday home to generations of the royal family, the former nursery – used by both Princes William and Harry when travelling on board with their parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana – is proving popular.

A notice informing visitors of the royal birth has been erected and blue balloons now decorate the entrance.

Protocol means there was no royal gun salute in Scotland – as was the case in Green Park, London – because the Queen is not in residence.

But the Palace of Holyroodhouse flew a giant Union flag yesterday, three times its usual size, to mark the historic 
occasion.

A VisitScotland spokesman said: “During the royal wedding we saw an unparalleled interest in Scotland’s royal visitor attractions, including Holyrood Palace and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

“The public reaction to the birth of the future king has shown there is still a huge appetite for all things regal. This can only be good news for Edinburgh’s royal attractions.”

Edinburgh Castle also reported it had been bustling with sightseers in the wake of Monday’s birth.

Executive manager Nick Finnigan said the good news had added to the atmosphere at the city’s top attraction.

He said: “I am pleased to say that it has been a really busy day at the Castle. There has been a real buzz about the place with visitors really excited to hear the news about the royal baby’s arrival.”

Elsewhere, businesses looked to make the most of the baby boom with Swish Print on Cockburn Street offering to make souvenir T-shirts.

Cuckoo’s Bakery, on Dundas Street, has given its sticky toffee cupcake a royal twist by adding a blue crown to its trademark treat and the Fudge House, on the Royal Mile, plans on making a commemorative batch.

With the royal family having 
now left hospital with their new edition, speculation is rife on what the young prince will be called.

Bookmakers Coral said the birth had been the biggest non-sporting betting event in the company’s history with cash staked on everything including hair colour and weight.

Punters in Edinburgh are backing James, which is currently topping the list of 
favourites.

The biggest bet staked at Ladbrokes, in Edinburgh, is £100 on third-favourite Alexander which at 10/1 promises a return of £1000 if it comes in.

Bets on the now second favourite, Andrew, saw an increase of 400 per cent in the week after Andy Murray won Wimbledon.

‘We were beaten by Kate by just 16 minutes’

NEW mum Ami Brenchley knows exactly how the royal couple are feeling after giving birth to Robert minutes later.

The 29-year-old, above, who eventually had the 8lb 4oz tot by Caesarean section, was getting updates on the future king’s arrival while her son was being delivered.

She had hoped to “beat them to it” but endured at 31-hour labour with her first born arriving at 4.40pm – 16 minutes after the new prince was born.

Staff at the ERI kept Ami and husband Mark, 26, informed while waiting for their “own prince” as the Lothians welcomed 32 babies on Monday. She said: “It was amazing, while we were having it we were getting updates of Kate, we wanted to see who had him first.”

Ami, a banking analyst and Mark, a private banking manager, said the royal connection would make Robert’s birthdays all the more special.

Catherine and Craig Cheape are following in the royals’ footsteps having also not yet named their new arrival, who was was delivered at 11.16pm. The couple, both 37, said they will hold off naming their 8lb 10.5oz boy until after the prince.

Both families will receive a commemorative lucky penny from the Royal Mint to mark their shared birthdays.

 

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