The pottery will still sell as a limited-edition misprint despite the flaw. It makes sense when you consider that collectors aren’t only interested in monetary returns. They also value a collection for its uniqueness. The Jubilee will rekindle interest in royal collectibles for both high-end buyers and those looking to commemorate the occasion.
The history of royal memorabilia dates back to 1661 when King Charles 2 was crowned. Those with the money could order handmade commemorative plates made in English delft. These plates are now worth over PS60,000 due to their rarity.
The Industrial Revolution, which brought about new printing technologies and mass production, boosted the production of pottery in the second half of the 1800s. During this period, the chinaware brands Wedgewood & Royal Crown Derby were founded.
The market for royal commemorative plates grew significantly under Queen Victoria.
Victoria’s 63-year reign saw a much wider range of imaginative and varied memorabilia. Today, you can find a variety of commemorative items, including handkerchiefs. Perfume bottles, framed photos, etched glasses, biscuit tins, and much more. The public was compelled to collect royal-related items, and this practice is still popular today.
Royal Collection Trust (which oversees the commercial operations of the various royal palaces) reported record-breaking sales for 2019. The PS21.7m brought in by the royal coffers for 2018-19 represented a 20% rise on the previous year, fueled by events such as Harry and Meghan’s wedding and Prince Louis’ birth. The trust just released its official commemorative chinaware line for the Platinum Jubilee. We can expect these and other celebratory items will boost sales.
There are several unofficial sources for royal memorabilia, both for high-end and low-end collectors. The gilded porcelain of the pottery manufacturers will appeal to the first, while souvenir shops in London and Edinburgh will attract the second.
The Royal Collection Trust and vendors made a lot of money from souvenirs sold at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
These inexpensive trinkets are an accessible way for the mass market to get involved with everything royal. Through humor and mockery, they can influence the public’s perception of royals.
These items, unlike official royal memorabilia sources, often poke fun at certain family members. Some examples include a Prince Charles mug with Diana’s face on each side of a crack and William and Catherine’s wedding toilet paper. Other items for sale include solar-powered queens, which wave in the sun. A mug featuring Charles’ ear is also available.
Satirical memorabilia reflects the wider anti-establishment attitude of British comedy, which targets the Royals. These items blend the importance of the monarchy and popular culture to show how the British take the royals for granted. These items are important in maintaining the monarchy’s public image and ensuring its continuation.
These souvenirs, which highlight the humorous aspects of royal life, disrupt the usual deference shown to the monarchy and make them “like us,” even if for a brief time. Royal family members’ foibles give us material to discuss and share with our friends, families, and colleagues while still representing British tradition and heritage. Memorabilia represents both aspects and solidifies the importance of royals in British Culture.