Royal-wedding souvenirs greet London shoppers
Britons, it seems, could outfit just about every room in their homes with royal-wedding memorabilia.
You’ll find Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s faces plastered on traditional souvenirs such as thimbles, tea bags, playing cards, mugs, paperweights and tea towels (dish towels).
But there are quirkier ones, too — Crown Jewels condoms, “sick bags” (translation: barf bags), “Kiss Me Kate” beer and even a special-edition refrigerator with photos of the prince and future princess.
Almost every shop is carrying something in honor of Kate and William.
Between online and shop sales, the royal-wedding souvenir business is expected to bring in about $325 million, according to Britain’s Centre for Retail Research.
Shirley Gold, 66, of Birmingham has been buying royal-wedding mugs to give to friends who recently had kids.
“It’s a great way to commemorate the year the baby was born,” she said.
Souvenir shop and kiosk owners on London’s busy Oxford Street said mugs, tea towels, flags and bunting have been the most popular. Sales have been steady so far and are expected to increase.
Shop owners said that tourists have been their biggest customers.
“The Spanish like the royal memorabilia because they have their own royal family,” said Khalid, who owns a souvenir kiosk on Oxford Street.
On the other hand, those of us on the other side of the pond who have no royal family of our own are also buying into it.
In fact, “we expect Americans to be the biggest [buyers],” said Nathan, owner of Souvenirs of London.
Most of the souvenirs are $10 to $20, slightly higher than the average souvenir.
“The wholesalers are charging very high prices,” said Feez, owner of Safe Souvenirs on Oxford Street. “Everyone’s trying to make money off the wedding.”