Lighter, News

Wacky (And Tacky) Royal Wedding Souvenirs

Will and Kate PEZ dispensersThere is a lot of excitement building about this Friday’s wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. They will be married on April 29 in London, England.

When there’s a big wedding—particularly if it involves the royal family—people like to have a souvenir, or keepsake, to remind them of the big day. Lots of companies are churning out products with Kate’s and William’s picture on them. Some of them are nice but more often than not the products are quite cheap and tacky and that’s part of the fun of it all.

One company created special PEZ dispensers with William’s and Kate’s faces on them. Kate is wearing the blue dress she wore during her engagement photos, and William is wearing a black suit and red tie. PEZ dispensers are meant to be filled with a special PEZ candy. You flip the head back and one candy at a time pops forward to be eaten. The PEZ dispensers were sold in an online auction on eBay for $13,000! The money from the sale will go to one of the charities the royal couple supports.This souvenir mug has the wrong prince's face on it - Harry, instead of Will. And that made it more valuable on eBay!

Another company, in China, created a mug with the happy couple on it. What a beautiful keepsake. Or it would have been, if they hadn’t printed a photo of the wrong prince on it! Instead of William, the company accidentally used a photo of his younger brother, Harry. Under the photo of Harry, it said Will. The mugs were originally put on eBay at about $15 each. Once people noticed the mistake, the mugs went way up in price—to about $110 each. The mistake made them rarer and more valuable keepsakes than all of those “accurate” souvenir mugs.

There are lots of other crazy things people are making with the couple’s images on them. Can you believe that in the U.S., one company made pizzas with the toppings laid out in the image of the couple? There are also toilet seat covers with their photos on top, and tea bags that are topped with cardboard cutouts of the pair. When you dip the teabag into your cup, it looks like William and Kate are hugging the rim of your cup. Lots of plates have been made with the couple’s photos on them—plates are a very traditional royal wedding keepsake. But some of the plates being made for this wedding say things like, “It should have been me” (did they think they had a shot at marrying a Prince?) or “Thanks for the free day off,” (many people in England will have an official holiday on the day of the wedding and they won’t have to work).

Kate William pizza by Papa JohnsThere are tea towels, woollen gloves (one glove has a ring painted on one finger), iPhone covers, beer labels (the beer is called “Kiss Me Kate,” the title of a famous Cole Porter musical), SweetTarts candies that say “Just Married” and even stick-on nails with Will and Kate’s portraits, that go on top of your fingernails.

Lego created special “William” and “Kate” figures, and built the entire Westminster Abbey wedding scene, using 180,000 Lego blocks. The scene includes 400 tiny Lego guests and took more than eight weeks to build. It will be on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England starting April 28.William and Kate wedding in Lego

But of all of the souvenirs that will remind people of the royal wedding, perhaps Kate Middleton already has the best one of all. When the couple got engaged, William gave Kate his mother’s (Lady Diana’s) famous blue sapphire engagement ring.

Coverage of the royal wedding begins early in the morning on Friday on CBC .
The official website for the royal wedding is here.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Do you have any souvenirs or keepsakes at home that remind you of a special person, place or event?  Pick a partner or friend and tell them all about one of your special souvenirs and explain why it is important to you.

Reading Prompt
People in England and all around the world are very excited to watch the wedding on April 29th.  Why do you think people are fascinated by this event?
Are you going to watch it on television or read about it in the newspaper? Why are you interested/not interested in it?

Use stated and implied information and ideas in texts to make simple inferences and reasonable predictions about them (OME, Reading: 1.5).

use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Rhetorical Questions
In this article, the journalist wrote the question: “Can you believe that in the U.S., one company made pizzas with the toppings laid out in the image of the couple?”
This question is called a “rhetorical question” because the journalist doesn’t actually expect you to answer her.
If the journalist doesn’t expect you to answer her question, why do you think she wrote it?  If she had changed the question into a statement, do you think your interest in the article would have changed?