WINDSOR, England (Reuters) - From masks and mugs to tea-bags and even condoms, royal fans can get their hands on all sorts of memorabilia to commemorate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding.
The names and faces of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and his American fiancée adorn merchandise in shops across the British town of Windsor, where the couple will marry on Saturday and where vendors hope to capitalise on interest from locals and tourists.
Bags, cups, plates and “Harry” and “Meghan” jars of yeast extract, a spread usually eaten on toast, are on display on store shelves and in windows, alongside flags, cuddly toys and party wear.
“Our shoppers like to have something to remember the day by,” Anthony Edwards, of Daniel department store, said. “We’ve got customers who bought 130 of the miniature magnets because they’re celebrating their wedding on the same day.”
The Royal Mint has unveiled a special coin, while Crown Jewels of London is selling “royal wedding souvenir condoms”, presented in a box playing “an exclusive musical arrangement of ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘The Star Spangled Banner’”.
One consultancy has estimated the wedding could boost the UK economy by one billion pounds.
UK economic forecasting group EY ITEM Club said last week it expects the lift to be “limited”.
“There should be some benefits to the UK economy from the royal wedding, although we would be wary of over-egging the potential impact or seeking to put a hard figure on the potential gains,” Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said in a statement.
“We suspect there will be a very limited, temporary boost to the economy focused on some sectors, notably retail, tourism and, possibly, catering and pubs.”
Outside Windsor Castle, where Britain’s sixth-in-line to the throne and the actress will marry, Kevin Ball has set up a small stall of commemorative caps and scarves on a bicycle to be able to move among the huge crowds expected.
“My mother-in-law is 87 now and she’s pulling out things from Queen Elizabeth’s wedding .... People like to look back on it in years to come,” he said.
At the “King and Queen” gift shop, a steady flow of customers are picking their souvenirs.
“Everybody’s going crazy,” Alan Earwaker, 70, said after buying a commemorative mug. “I’ve got people over from Brazil, they’re buying loads and loads of stuff to take back .... Everybody’s wedding mad.”
Reporting By Jonathan Shenfield, Alex Fraser and Emily Roe; additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Writing by Emily Roe and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg