Right old pain for souvenir makers
LONDON: It’s a royal bonanza – but for Britain’s souvenir makers, also a royal headache.
The upcoming birth of the first child of Prince William and his wife Kate is a golden opportunity that comes with a mystery – the baby’s name and gender.
It all means that, while merchants have known for months that the future heir to the throne is due in mid-July, they’ll be sent into a mad dash to create, or at least put finishing touches to, royal baby memorabilia.
Sophie Allport, a designer of fine bone china, is one manufacturer waiting for the future monarch’s name to send her commercial plans into motion.
She has thousands of pre-orders for handcrafted commemorative mugs, but can’t fill them until the baby’s name can be etched on the rims.
She’s as ready as she can possibly be – having prepared blue and pink designs, depending on whether it’s a prince or princess.
“We’ve never done something like this, so I hope it works.”
Allport’s designs, once written, will be scanned, mailed or even driven by courier to the city of Stoke-on-Trent, the centre of Britain’s ceramic industry.
Be it Alexandra, George or Elizabeth, or any of the other names touted as possibilities, Stoke-on-Trent’s workers will apply Allport’s designs to 10 000 mugs, which then will be fired in huge kilns and finished with a ceramic glaze. – Sapa-AP