Wed­ding big busi­ness, from fudge to mu­si­cal con­doms

DAY TOGO

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It is pos­si­ble to get a taste of the royal wed­ding cake even if you haven’t been in­vited — not from the very cake the new­ly­weds will be cut­ting into to­mor­row, but in a piece of fudge.

Prince Harry and Meghan have cho­sen to cel­e­brate their wed­ding day at Wind­sor Cas­tle with a lemon and el­der­flower creation.

It’s be­ing made by Vi­o­let Bak­ery’s Claire Ptak, who has al­ready be­gun bak­ing the cake to be served to up to 600 guests at the royal re­cep­tion this week­end.

While only the in­vi­tees will be served a piece of the ac­tual wed­ding cake, vis­i­tors to Wind­sor could get a taste of the flavour with the spe­cialedi­tion treat at the Fudge Kitchen.

The store, just down the road from the cas­tle gate, is one of many re­tail­ers cash­ing in on the royal wed­ding busi­ness; eye­less face­masks of the roy­als, ce­ramic thim­bles, plates, cups, cut­lery, teatow­els, beer, cook­ies — if it could be given a wed­ding flavour it has been.

Fudge Kitchen act­ing man­ager Shan­non Hod­gins said peo­ple loved the glit­ter-topped fudge — be­cause it was for the wed­ding.

“It’s a re­ally ab­stract flavour, it’s re­ally dif­fer­ent, not one that we’ve had be­fore, so hav­ing one that is not like any other is re­ally nice, as it ap­peals to dif­fer­ent taste buds and it’s for the wed­ding.”

Kevin Scott ar­rived in Wind­sor from the Bri­tish Mid­lands, sev­eral days be­fore the big day, to sell wed­ding mer­chan­dise to royal fans who were al­ready gath­er­ing in the streets.

The or­ange and pur­ple Meghan and Harry scarves he’s sell­ing aren’t quite fly­ing out of his hands, but he hopes that will change by to­mor­row — es­pe­cially if he man­ages to wrap one around a royal neck.

“It’s a bit slow at the mo­ment, but we will be here on the day.

“We are hop­ing to get prime sales from Harry and Meghan and our sales will quadru­ple if we get one around one of their necks.”

The royal fam­ily cer­tainly makes for great re­tail busi­ness in the United King­dom, more so when a royal wed­ding is on the cards.

The UK Of­fice of Na­tional Statis­tics fig­ures showed the mar­riage of Prince Harry’s older brother, the Duke of Cam­bridge, to Kate Mid­dle­ton, now Duchess of Cam­bridge, in April 2011 boosted vis­i­tor num­bers to the UK by 350,000 in that month alone.

An es­ti­mate from the Cen­tre for Re­tail Re­search showed their wed­ding also ac­counted for a £527 mil­lion ($1.03 bil­lion) in­crease in UK re­tail spend­ing, in­clud­ing £199m on wed­ding sou­venirs and mem­o­ra­bilia.

Time will tell the im­pact of the lat­est royal wed­ding on the econ­omy, but with thou­sands of vis­i­tors pre­dicted to flock to Wind­sor, where ho­tels are al­most all com­pletely booked, its seems it will re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant boost.

As soon as the news of the lat­est royal en­gage­ment was an­nounced last year and a date set for the wed­ding, the mem­o­ra­bilia quickly filled shelves and cropped up on­line, with sales ex­pected to pick up in the days lead­ing up to the event.

Quirkier items avail­able to be snapped up on­line by fans of the

roy­als in­clude a pack of her­itage con­doms, which are be­ing sold at crown­jew­elscon­doms.co.uk

The royal cou­ple’s faces are on the pack­age. Open the box and an ex­clu­sive ar­range­ment of

and the will play.

Bag­soflove.co.uk has also listed on its site full-body swimwear, with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s faces blown up on the front.

And it’s not just re­tail­ers, but de­sign­ers, florists, bak­ers and tiara mak­ers who are pro­vid­ing for the wed­ding that will ben­e­fit, not only fi­nan­cially from the cel­e­bra­tions to­mor­row.

Long-term, they’ll profit im­mensely from the in­valu­able rep­u­ta­tion that will inevitably come from be­ing able to de­clare they served the roy­als.

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