'£200m to be spent' on royal wedding souvenirs

26/04/11

Royal wedding condoms

Tens of millions of pounds will be spent on souvenirs leading up to the royal wedding, says an independent research group.

The Centre for Retail Research is predicting sales of £200m.

The British Retail Consortium and moneysupermarket.com estimate that £480m will be spent when food and drink are included.

Among the growing range of special merchandise appearing are limited edition condoms, called Crown Jewels.

They come in a purple box with a picture of William and Kate on the front.

There will always be people who are eager to dismiss a good idea like this, but they have sold all over the world
Heritage Condoms

Heritage Condoms say they've nearly sold all 10,000 packs.

"We thought it was time for a fresh take on the royal wedding souvenir," says managing director Hugh Pomfret.

"There will always be people who are eager to dismiss a good idea like this, but they have sold all over the world - in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil."

He says he'd like to know what Prince William thinks of the condoms. However Buckingham Palace told Newsbeat there was no comment.

'Tacky'

Jeremie Herpson runs a gift shop in central London and has been stocking plenty of wedding memorabilia.

Royal wedding plate
Image caption Royal wedding memorabilia is selling well, say some small businesses

"This wedding has been great for a small business like us," he says. "Particularly with younger customers and tourists."

Jeremie's shop also has plates with a mock William and Kate Facebook page on them, and others saying "Thanks for the Free Day Off."

Other highlights include a diamante iPhone cover, fake nails, shot glasses, a fridge, and a duvet cover.

The merchandise isn't to everyone's taste however.

"It's all tacky," says Mary Whimmer, 22, from Pennsylvania.

"To get their pictures on your nails is insane - but I have seen worse back home."

Sick bags

Other businesses around the country are cashing in.

Royal wedding sickbags
Image caption Thousands of Lydia Leith's sick bags have been sold

A Nottingham brewery has made Kiss Me Kate ale and in Cumbria there are royal wedding sick bags for those feeling a bit queasy.

Lydia Leith, 24, designed them - she's sold thousands in red and blue and has had requests for gold.

"People seem to really like them - I think they understand it is just a joke and a bit of fun," she says.

You can only buy official Royal Collection souvenirs from their shops in London and Edinburgh, and on their website.

The most expensive is a cup priced at £125.

Antiques experts say hardly any royal wedding souvenirs will end up being worth much and if you are hoping for an investment it is best to buy something good quality and limited edition.