Anglophiles, wedding enthusiasts, and collectors of fine bone china, listen up—the first official Royal Wedding memorabilia went on sale this week.
The Associated Press reports that the couple released several wedding china pieces, commissioned by a well-known British ceramics company. According to the office of Prince William, both the Prince and Kate have approved of the design. (The couple made their first public appearance this past Saturday since the announcement of their engagement at a fundraising event).
So far, there are commemorative plates, pillboxes, and a tankard (what else says a Royal Wedding quite like a tankard?) The bone china mementos are elegant if not expected, circled in gold, with pale blue laurels encasing the initials “C” and “W,” which are intertwined in the center. The date of the wedding, April 29th, 2011, is displayed prominently on each piece.
But, as with every piece of commemorative flatware, there is controversy. “Collectors aren’t interested in anything with no portrait,” a specialist told the British tabloid The Sun. “It’s not about quality and beauty, anyone in their right mind would prefer something with Kate and Wills on.”
The prices are steep for the bone china—the plate runs £40 (approximately $62), £35 ($53) for the tankard and £25 ($39) for the pill box. The china is currently on sale in England at royal palaces, as well as online. The profits from the wedding dishes will be given to a charity that curates and maintains the Royal Family's artwork, called the Royal Collection.
Given the price, The Sun says that many will simply wait until unofficial merchandise is on eBay, where people can snag contraband tea towels with the happy couple for a fraction of the cost.