As the wedding bells ring for Prince William and his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton, retailers across Britain will hear the cash registers chime.
With over 600,000 tourists expected to visit London for the occasion and another estimated 2.5 billion viewers worldwide, they keen to cash in on the royal wedding and will be stacking their shelves with souvenirs ranking from weird to wonderful. From the “lie back and think of England” Crown Jewels condoms to the “throne-up” sick bags, CNBC has listed the most unusual and tacky royal wedding goodies.
Celebrate the big day in style with these highly sought-after, if a little bizarre, collectables.
By CNBC Europe
Posted 28 April 2011
For those feeling romantic and keen to make their significant other feel like a princess, this faux sapphire engagement ring is the perfect gift.
In October 2010, Prince William popped the question to Kate Middleton - or Catherine as she will be known following the nuptials—and slid a very special ring onto her finger. The 18-carat royal-blue sapphire and 14-diamond ring was that of Prince William’s mother, Lady Diana, who had chosen the ring in 1981 for her engagement to Prince Charles.
It cost £30,000 ($49,700) at the time, £85,700 ($142,000) in today's money. She stopped wearing it when Prince Charles cheated on her, the first step towards divorce for the couple.
A replica is available for $80.
A special ring will need protecting, and so will the hands that wear it. Designer Donna Wilson has created a pair of gloves with a twist.
The 100 percent lambswool gloves — the left one embroidered with the name "Kate" and the right with "William" — come with a knitted engagement ring. It might not as much as the original, but it should suffice to keep potential suiters at bay for Kate until she marries her prince.
Postal services around the globe have designed special commemorative stamps for the royal wedding. The UK Royal Mail released a special set of four stamps to celebrate the royal couple just weeks before the wedding.
The stamps picture Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate following their engagement in 2010. The south-pacific island nation of Niue, with a population of less than 2,000, issued a set of stamps which show an image of the couple that can be split down the middle to tear the couple apart.
With 1,900 guests invited to the ceremony, it could be difficult for the commoners to spot the royal couple.
For those who would like to re-enact their very own royal wedding, this set of royal face masks could help. For £15.45 ($25.6), the bride and groom's face could pop up anywhere. And so could those of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles and the groom’s brother Prince Harry. Take your pick.
Although an estimated 2 billion people are expected to watch the royal wedding, not everyone is excited about the big day. If the thought of having to watch the day's events unfold turns your stomach, designer Lydia Leith can come to the rescue.
The British designer's "throne up" bag is similar to sick bags that can be found on planes or ferries and has been designed especially for the royal wedding. Leith told CNBC she has sold over 8,000 bags, each one of them handsigned. “It has become a real full time job,“ she said, “before all of this, I don’t think I would have watched the wedding, but now, I think I will, and maybe even spot a couple of bags in the crowd.”
The royal wedding will last just over five hours from the guest arrivals to the ceremony itself at Westminster Abbey and the carriage ride, to the balcony appearance at BuckinghamPalace.
The biggest wedding fans will be able to tweet every single development via their smartphones, from the guests entrances to the long-awaited "I do". This special Royal Wedding smartphone case ensures your phone is dressed for the occasion.
BrewDog, a Scotland-based brewery specialized in adding a twist to the world's most popular alcoholic drink has dedicated its latest creation to the soon-to-be newlyweds. The “Royal Virility Performance” has been spiced up with a special ingredient: Viagra.
Although Viagra is a prescription-only drug in the European Union, the company plans on selling each one of the 1,000 bottle limited edition for £10, or $16.52. The “Royal Virility Performance” beer is not the only royal wedding special. On the big day, “Kiss Me Kate” pale ale, the Royal Wedding ale, or the Celebration ale will also be available.
Viagra beer can only lead to one thing. The Crown Jewels condoms promise to combine the strength of a prince with the yielding sensitivity of a princess to be. Sold as a set of three, in a collector's box, these condoms come with a souvenir poster depicting the soon-to-be newly-weds “as they might appear on their wedding day”.
For £5 ($8.25) pay attention with these as the retailer warns users the condoms may not be suitable as a contraceptive or protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Nestlé’s popular and quintessentially British chocolate brand Quality Street