Sat. Oct 1st, 2022


There are kits to help you crochet a miniature Queen Elizabeth with any color dress and hat you want, t-shirts with her likeness and “never complain, never explain” – a proverb said to have been adopted by her late mother – and limited edition dolls The Barbie was released by Mattel in honor of her 96th birthday and platinum jubilee and is selling for up to $6,600 on eBay.

The growing demand to own these items offers a glimpse into the royal memorabilia industry that has grown since the British monarch’s death and is growing stronger as the world continues its 10 days of mourning until her funeral on Monday.

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While many are indifferent to the end of her 70-year reign and King Charles’ assumption of the throne, and others find cashing in on the moment distasteful, some of the family’s Canadian fans seem keen to commemorate her 96-year life and the change of power by owning or making commemorative items .

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“It’s a memory,” said Jonara Oliveira, who runs an Etsy shop that sells embroidery hoops depicting the queen and one of her beloved corgis.

“People buy to have this reminder of a figure that was also a moment.”


Click to play video: 'Massive painting of Queen Elizabeth on display at Winnipeg mall'







A huge painting of Queen Elizabeth on display at the Winnipeg Mall


A huge painting of Queen Elizabeth on display at the Winnipeg Mall

Oliveira, an illustrator from Surrey, BC who is originally from Brazil, got the idea for the royal hoops when she was studying about the queen to prepare for her citizenship test.

She started selling them ahead of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations in June, and sales were strong, but waned in the weeks after.

Demand rose once more when the Queen died on September 8. Last week, she sold four times the average of the last six months, and searches for her products increased by 110 percent. The number of visitors to her shop is now even higher than during the jubilee.

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Canada Post saw a similar pattern with the platinum anniversary stamps it issued in the winter.

Compared to the five weeks before Sept. 8, sales of the silver stamp rose 900 per cent in the past week, said Canada Post spokeswoman Lisa Liu.

“For context, these stamps were first released for sale in February, so sales were at the level prior to this,” she wrote in an email. “However, we have definitely seen an increase in sales since Her Majesty died.”

The rise in royal trinkets did not surprise David Soberman because the Queen’s death is a “colossal” event that most people have never experienced.


Click to play video: 'Royal harpist for Queen Elizabeth and King Charles on music fit for a monarchy'







Royal harpist to Queen Elizabeth and King Charles on music fit for a monarchy


Royal harpist to Queen Elizabeth and King Charles on music fit for a monarchy

“It marks the longest reign in British history and that’s quite, quite incredible, when you think about it,” said the marketing professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

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“People think they won’t make these (items) anymore because she’s no longer queen and they’d like to have something to remember her by.”

However, palace-approved kitsch is currently limited as the Royal Collection Shop, the royal family’s usual means of selling commemorative pieces, has been out of business for several days.

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Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Primark, British stores known to sell royal merchandise, have also yet to release products associated with the Queen. Soberman suspects they want to avoid being seen as in “bad taste” during the mourning period.

But other online marketplaces are teeming with royal merchandise.

Kijiji has dozens of active listings for royal memorabilia and as of Sept. 8 saw an average of 2,000 searches a day for keywords related to “Queen Elizabeth” across Canada, Kent Sikstrom, head of public relations at Kijiji Canada, said in an email.


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‘They sanctioned the rape and murder of children’: Grief for the queen fuels unresolved traumas for indigenous peoples


‘They sanctioned the rape and murder of children’: Grief for the queen fuels unresolved traumas for indigenous peoples

He added that searches were up from the past few months, when Kijiji saw “little to no activity” related to the Queen.

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Leslie Walsh, eBay Canada’s head of communications, declined to share search or sales data for royal products “out of respect” for the Queen, the royal family and the bereaved. Still, her website showed more than 73,000 items linked to the late monarch, with thousands listed in the days after her death.

The market listings show a mix of traditional goods such as Royal Doulton figurines, special edition coins and postage stamps alongside more unusual products.

There are rubber ducks with a crown, queen bobbleheads, holiday ornaments with her initials, and even tea bags made to look like she’s bathing in your cup.

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If the late monarch isn’t your cup of tea, there are condoms, coloring books, socks, bow ties, Pez dispensers and even cereal called Harry and Meghan’s wedding rings from the wedding of Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandson.

Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton, now Princess of Wales, spawned a Swarovski crystal-encrusted Ring Pop inspired by her sapphire engagement stone, New Balance sneakers embroidered with their names on the tongue, and beer, quilts and bar bags.

But not all royal merchandise has value, Soberman warned. Limited edition items like Barbies can fetch big bucks, but common stamps and coins won’t be worth much.

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Click to play video: 'King Charles donates pen 'just in case' after frustrations hit headlines'







King Charles gave away a pen ‘just in case’ after his frustrations hit the headlines


King Charles gave away a pen ‘just in case’ after his frustrations hit the headlines

That won’t deter people from spending, he predicted.

Between celebrations, memorabilia, books and tourism, the Center for Retail Research in Norfolk, England, estimates that William and Kate’s wedding generated £407m in sales, while Harry and Meghan’s boosted £83m and the birth of the future king, Prince George, earned ? 259 million.

All overshadowed by the latest jubilee, which was predicted to drive a spending of 408.29 million?

The Queen’s death could outpace even jubilee sales just because of the important sentiments it evokes, Soberman said.

“It’s almost like she’s always there… so when you say it’s over… it creates destabilization and makes things emotional.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 17, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press





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