Topic: A Right Royal Collection

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Wedding memorabilia for Prince William and Kate Middleton will continue to be in demand for some time. While the sale of commemorative royal wedding prophylactics is no doubt a royal souvenir first, collectible objects celebrating royalty have been in demand since the 17th Century.

When Charles II married Catherine de Braganza of Portugal in 1662 a souvenir coin was cast in silver. No stranger to being immortalised in this fashion King Charles II was often pictured on stoneware and glassware. The marriage of cousins Prince William III and Mary II in 1677 saw the emergence of the commemorative plate and the royal mug was first produced for the coronation of King George II in 1727.

In more recent times images of the royals have made their way onto all kinds of objects, from milk bottle tops to hankies and baby’s bibs. In 1953 to celebrate the Queens coronation a royal thermo flask was available along side the more tradition items of commemorative medals and fine bone china. However it was with the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s in 1981 that the royal souvenir industry really came of age.

Amongst the many objects related to the royals in the Tauranga Heritage Collection is a Queen Victoria coin purse produced in 1897 to commemorate her long rein. The purse was donated to the collection in 1970 by Mrs W. Latimer of The Mall, Mt Maunganui.

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