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Friday, April 29, 2011

My Aunt Ceil Went to the Royal Wedding, and All I Got Was This Lousy Limited Edition Royal Crown Derby Bone China Commemorative Plate

Marriage is a wonderful institution, the old joke goes. But who wants to live in an institution?

And then there's this week's marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, a monolith that reduces even the most extravagant celebrity nuptial shindig to the status of a small town pancake breakfast.

When you think of Royal Wedding souvenirs, schlocky tea towels and $25 Tesco knockoffs of Catherine's engagement dress come to mind. Who buys these pitiable gegaws? Surely not the cultivated, stylish readers of The Luxury Life!

For you, we have identified a better class of commemorative folderol. Here are a few examples:

Floris Wedding Bouquet Eau de Parfum – The 281-year-old London parfumer says that they created this exclusive scent to celebrate the royal coupling, drawing inspiration from Floris wedding fragrances of the past "whilst introducing a modern twist." The Floris shop in New York closed a few years, ago; for about $135 you can order online at www.florislondon.com.

Bespoke Royal Wedding-Themed Party Cake – Vauxhaul in South London is home to the British secret service (MI6) headquarters and Cakehole, an artisanal bakery that uses free range eggs, local fruit and, British sugar and organic flour. They're known for scrumptious treats such as peanut fudge brownies, lemon drizzle cake, and carrot cake with lemon mascarpone cream cheese icing.

For a limited time they offer a colorful salute to the royal couple made of Victoria sponge cake decorated in red, white and blue fondant, adorned with spotted teapots and sparkling jewels, then topped with House of Windsor roses. A nine-inch cake with 12 servings will set you back about $50 plus another $17 for Central London delivery. It's not available by mail. Order one from www.cakeholelondon.com about 48 hours in advance of your arrival, have it delivered to your hotel, and host your own celebration.

Royal Crown Derby Royal Wedding Commemorative Octagonal Plate
Royal Crown Derby produced this octagonal plate in a limited edition of 1500. It is "adorned at the edges in cobalt blue and overlaid in gold [with] acorns from the great oak tree, representing longevity along with the instantly recognizable Prince of Wales Plumes. At the center are displayed the ornately intertwined initials of Catherine and William." Their description, not ours. You'd know a Prince of Wales Plume when you see one, wouldn't you? About $225 at www.royalcrownderby.co.uk.

Ice London iPhone 4 Cover – The Union Jack crystal design is fashioned from (yawn) Swarovksi "elements." Also available for the iPhone 3G, if you are still among the unfortunate few who haven't yet upgraded. About $275 at www.ice.co.uk.

Halcyon Days Commemorative Limited Edition Bone China BoxPrince William and Catherine are shown on either side of Westminster Abbey on this 24ct gold-embellished box. On the side panels are the Prince’s coat of arms, with the couple’s initials, and Buckingham Palace. The box is further decorated with the national flowers of the United Kingdom: rose, daffodil, shamrock and thistle. Only 350 have been produced. About $750 from www.halcyondays.co.uk.

More on Royal Wedding souvenirs at British Vogue and The Telegraph.

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