Right old pain for sou­venir mak­ers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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