Royal memorabilia has a long history. Here’s why souvenirs of the Queen are significant

Images of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Union flag bunting hangs across The Jubilee pub ahead of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations in Sunbury-on-Thames in south west London. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Images of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Union flag bunting hangs across The Jubilee pub ahead of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations in Sunbury-on-Thames in south west London. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Memorabilia has long been used throughout many reigns of the British monarchy to commemorate significant events and milestones.

According to Buckingham Palace, royal souvenirs have been available a since the 1600s. During Queen Victoria’s time on the throne from 1819-1901, all sorts of commemorative souvenirs were made, from paperweights to perfume bottles.

Queen Elizabeth II carried on that tradition, with memorabilia to mark her Golden and Platinum Jubilees. For the Queen’s platinum celebration, the Centre for Retail Research found that spending on souvenirs, memorabilia and gifts exceeded £281m.

The growth of memorabilia – both official and unofficial – has added to the Queen’s omnipresence, and for many people, collecting memorabilia is not only a hobby, but a way to forge deeper emotional connections with the Queen.

Just days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, unofficial souvenirs have been available at royal-themed gift shops in London and online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. According to Google data, searches for ‘Queen Elizabeth mugs’ have doubled.

Topping the Amazon best sellers list are hanging wooden decorations of the Queen while mugs, made for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, are also featured at number four of the bestseller list.

Official merchandise, however, will take longer to arrive to approved vendors, who have suspended sales of royal souvenirs out of respect for the 10-day mourning period.

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