Elizabeth II’s anniversary or the platinum deal with derivatives

Traditionally popular, royal cups, spoons and other things that carry the image of the royal family will sell as hot bread for this historic event.

Magnets, cups, coins, spoons, plates, teapots, pens, photos, bags …, products bearing the image of the royal family and especially Queen Elizabeth II, are a well-established tradition in Britain. And a very lucrative business.

But with the organization of the platinum anniversary celebrating the 70th anniversary of the imperishable monarch, this business takes on a different dimension. Specialty stores in London and across the country have filled up with these memorabilia as sales stand to be unusual.

The anniversaries are major events across the Channel, for the British, but also for the tens of thousands of foreign tourists who have come to London for the event. A total of 12 million people are expected this Thursday in the kingdom’s capital.

240 million euros in turnover for the previous anniversary

So of course there is something for everyone and for every budget. From a few euros for a keychain to several hundred euros for porcelain decorated with platinum, from dog clothes to porcelain bells, from specialty beers to biscuit boxes …: professionals multiply the references. Most are mass-produced in China, others in limited series (especially porcelain) and can become collectors.

Items resembling the queen in a souvenir shop
Items with the image of the Queen in a souvenir shop © DR

It must be said that the stakes are high: for all these souvenir shops, the anniversary can represent 20 to 30% of their annual turnover.

The previous anniversaries give us an opportunity to get an idea of ​​this business: in 2012 during Elizabeth II’s (Diamond Jubilee) 60-year reign, these derivative products had generated a turnover of 240 million euros, of which 145 million in London alone according to the Center for Retail Research .

The Center for Retail Research estimates the British will spend more than $ 356 million this year. If these figures are confirmed this year (they could be boosted by online sales), it would represent a breath of fresh air for the UK economy, whose consumption is currently being held back by galloping inflation.

Traditionally, this market for royal items already brings in 20 million euros a year. And you should know that the royal family does not get any income in connection with these sales.

A network of shops and a royal grocery store

On the other hand, Windsors has a network of stores (Halcyon Days) that sell products made by British craftsmen affiliated with the Crown, mainly luxury porcelain service from Stoke-on-Trent. The country’s finest and finest.

So do not expect to see items made in China for a few euros in this royal brand. But better teapots for 410 euros or plates for 170 euros … High prices that should make it possible to preserve this local craft.

Example of a porcelain plate sold at Halcyon Days
Example of a porcelain plate sold at Halcyon Days © Halcyon Days

The Royal House has also launched its online store. Here again no kitsch stuff, but top-of-the-range items: Porcelain, jewelry, champagne … but also biscuits for small budgets. And as of this writing, sales are “on hold due to unprecedented demand.” Sales whose turnover is zealously kept secret …

The royal house's grocery store paralyzed by a request
The Royal House’s grocery store paralyzed by “unprecedented” demand © BFM Business
A porcelain corgi on the occasion of the Queen's Anniversary.
A porcelain corgi on the occasion of the Queen’s Anniversary. © Screenshot – Goviers

If this memorial shop is mainly based in specialty stores, there are dozens of them in London alone (but these products are found all over the UK), some major brands have decided to try surfing at the event.

Brands want their share of the pie

The watchmaker Swatch has thus launched a limited series of its Ghent watch, christened for the occasion How majestic. You can see a representation of the monarch accompanied by her famous corgi. It is sold for 100 euros.

Swatch watch with the image of the queen
Swatch watch with the image of the Queen © Swatch

Mattel, for her part, unveiled a Barbie with the Queen’s image to “pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch with the longest reign in British history (…). Since her coronation in 1953, she has led her a life in public service with duty and humanitarian action, thus uniting the nation in celebration, reflection and community spirit. ” Its price: 88 euros.

Elizabeth II Barbie
Elizabeth II Barbie © Mattel

If Elizabeth II has become a brand, if the supply of products is large, it is also not possible to do anything. Limits have been set so that it is impossible (in theory, but in practice it is different) to sell towels, tea towels and other bibs that carry the image of the monarch. Incredible to smear the queen’s face! On the other hand, the generous dishwashing liquid for 18 euros exists …

Olivier Chicheportiche Journalist BFM Business

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