Queen Elizabeth's jubilee souvenirs sweep Britain

Her face looms from the shelves on everything from biscuit tins to ashtrays; with celebrations for her diamond jubilee in full swing, Britain's monarch reigns supreme over the souvenir market.

Retailers have gone into royal overdrive for the anniversary, cramming displays with both kitsch junk and big-ticket items inspired by Queen Elizabeth II's sixty-year reign.

Luxury carmaker Bentley announced a special sixty-unit jubilee edition of its Mulsanne model, and breakfast spread Marmite has temporarily renamed itself Ma'amite.

Silk scarves emblazoned with corgis, the queen's favourite dog, fetch over £100 ($156, 125 euros) at one London department store, while souvenir shops on the same street peddle an unofficial range of cheap commemorative china.

Enterprising websites have begun hawking jubilee g-strings and even t-shirts for dogs, while republican smokers can stub out their cigarettes on her majesty's face using a highly unauthorised jubilee ashtray.

Just a year after the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, royal fever is sweeping the British high street once again.

Nuala McGourty, retail director of the Royal Collection, told AFP that collectors had already snapped up 30,000 tea towels, 15,000 tankards and 14,000 pill-boxes from the official memorabilia line.

"The royal wedding had huge appeal, but this is even better," she said. "We sell an enormous amount from our online shop to customers from North America and the Commonwealth countries.

"It appeals to people who want a souvenir that will go up in value, something they can pass on to their grandchildren," she added.

But the elegant range, with its quintessentially British teapot priced at £250 and £395 cake stand, may not be quite the goldmine collectors are hoping for.

"It probably isn't a fantastic investment as this stuff is so mass-produced these days," said James Grinter of Reeman Dansie, an auction house specialising in royal memorabilia.

"The queen has been around for such a long time, she's produced an awful lot of things," he explained.

"And there aren't so many collectors for commemorative memorabilia as there were thirty or forty years ago. The value has rather gone down. Princess Diana is a lot more collectable than the queen," he added.

The Centre for Retail Research predicts that consumers will spend £307 million ($489 million, 384 million euros) this summer on jubilee and Olympic souvenirs.

But in London's Oxford Street shopping district, hawkers of the cheap, unofficial memorabilia -- most of it made abroad -- are downbeat.

"None of it's selling," one stall-owner told AFP glumly from under a festoon of commemorative tea towels.

But at the other end of the market, British makers of high-quality ceramics have, like the Royal Collection, reported booming sales for their jubilee-inspired designs.

Pottery firm Emma Bridgewater said it expected to earn £1.5 million from its commemorative range and, like the Royal Collection, says demand has far outstripped that for its royal wedding memorabilia.

Leigh Willott, the company's design manager, suggested William and Kate had created a surge in popularity for products inspired by the royal family.

"The wedding really engaged people into celebrating these royal events," she said.

Designer Lydia Leith, meanwhile -- who won fame across Britain with her tongue-in-cheek royal wedding sick bags -- is back with jelly moulds that create large, wobbling replicas of the queen's head.

"They've been very popular, though lot of people are quite shocked by it," she said. "They see it and wonder: is it OK to eat the queen?"

Even major retailer Marks and Spencer, a byword for middle-class respectability in Britain, has launched a range of jubilee-themed women's knickers.

"It's selling slowly but surely," a Marks and Spencer sales assistant told AFP.

"It was like this before the royal wedding -- nobody bought that much in the weeks running up to it, then on the day before, everyone went crazy."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

  • Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle
    Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle

    Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island yesterday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region will allow it to project power deep into …

  • Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers
    Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers

    President Aquino administered yesterday the oath taking of 50 newly appointed generals and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace. …

  • Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed
    Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed

    The US on Tuesday welcomed Taiwan’s call on all claimants to disputed shoals, reefs, rocks and islets in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea to exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions, as well as to respect international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “With regard to the maritime claims and the claims to sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, our position is that maritime claims must …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options