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The royal wedding cash cow

Whether it's manufacturers of specialist china, or novelty items, or even the company founded by Middleton's mother, shops and businesses are looking to make the most of the couple's big day on April 29.


Buckingham Palace has issued strict guidelines on what can and cannot be used on official souvenirs and commemorative merchandise, only allowing tea towels celebrating the engagement after protests from manufacturers. All such items must be in "good taste", it said. That has not stopped a slew of unofficial memorabilia hitting the streets and internet shopping websites.

Already on offer are "Crown Jewels" condoms, featuring a picture of William and Middleton gazing into each other's eyes and bearing the famous motto, "Lie back and think of England".

Among the mass of mugs and cups churned out in the couple's honour is a range of plates by London firm KK Outlet featuring plates emblazoned with slogans such as "Thanks For The Free Day Off" and "It Should Have Been Me". The more upmarket ceramics maker Portmeirion (PMGR.L), known for its Royal Worcester fine bone china, said last month it would produce 250 new products to commemorate the royal wedding. Supermarket Tesco (TSCO.L) produced a popular 16-pound version of the dress Middleton wore when the couple announced their engagement, while sales of rings similar to that given by William to Middleton have soared.


Pieminister, a pie-making outfit in western England, has concocted a commemorative "Kate and Wills pie", while online retailers are selling souvenir underwear and T-shirts. Perhaps if you're fed up with royal mania, you can always purchase a celebratory ash tray emblazoned with the couple's faces and stub out a cigarette on them.

Retail researchers say the wedding could give a 620 million pound boost to the British economy as it seeks to close a record peacetime budget deficit.
 
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