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The weirdest Charles merch money can buy

Each royal event is a marketeer's opportunity.  Here's our guide to some of the more WTF items vying for your pound.

May 04 2023, 16.07pm

The weather forecast for King Charles's coronation is set to be, like Wimbledon and the London Marathon, rain. With rainy spells. That won’t deter the British public (or the world’s royal watchers) from watching a horse-drawn, gilded, air conditioned cart with Charles and Camilla clopping down London’s streets to Westminster Abbey. Four out of ten Britons say that even if it rains, they’ll only head inside if it gets really heavy. One in ten will put up an umbrella and wait it out while others will stay where they are and get wet. 

I covered Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday for a news agency and found thousands of eager pneumonia catchers in the torrential rain refusing to seek shelter (and attempting to start barbecues in a downpour) because…I don’t know. They probably thought it would be treasonous to not. 

Republican or monarchist, it appears that we’re stuck with the rain. And, given that the Metropolitan Police say they’ll squash dissent like a cockroach, it appears that the cake-fuelled picnics and parties will be dialled up to eleven to drown out the fact that monarchy enshrines hierarchy through birthright. And it’s a good boon for merch vendors who want to turn a quick buck on the “historic occasion”-ness of everything. 

For the wimps, Queenie had an official umbrella maker and they’ve put out a tasteful, canelike brolly with an Italian elmwood handle. Staunch, Brexity monarchists might say “why’s it made with foreign muck” as they doff their plastic Union Jack bowler hat (made in China) and soggy Charles and Camilla masks

Fulton coronation umbrella

For the UK’s first “eco-King”, the amount of waste that could be generated could be huge. His mother’s own Jubilee saw 24,000 miles of empty booze cans and bottles discarded (roughly the circumference of the Earth). Who knows how much bunting will be binned and food waste will, based on previous royal parties, run into several million tonnes. The UK generates five million tonnes of plastic waste each year - over half of it is packaging. So why not celebrate the coronation of the king with a light up pillow - that you’ll invariably bin - from Marks and Spencer?

Light up coronation pillow from M&S

If you want something more "legacy", the those fine merch makers you know from the back pages of tabloids, Danbury Mint, have launched a £379 Coronation Bear. Sadly, for me, it's just a bear in ermine and not the Tom of Finland rendition I'd hoped for. Saying that, they say the final product (limited to only 2,023 bears) will mimic Charles's outfit on the day. Here's hoping for arseless chaps and a gimp mask. Go on, Chuck....

Danbury Mint's Coronation Bear

Wardrobe and accessories notwithstanding, it's important to note that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (named after the previous King Charles) will likely re-enter doggy meme prominence. The fine folk at Stokes Croft China have issued these commemorative mugs as a fitting follow up to their QE2 ones that featured the Queen saying she ate swans. Currently sold out, their "coronation tat" trinket dish won't fall foul of trading standards, either.

Stokes Croft China Who Elected Him mug

Coronation tat trinket dish

Just in case we forgot how Charles got his job in the first place, some gametes met and he was born into it. But first, his mother had to die. For the serfs of the land who also fancy a gig netting millions for smiling, pretending to look interested and asking “and what do you do?”, you’re tough out of luck. Here’s a children’s book driving home just how lowly and subservient you are.

Little People Big Dreams Charles

In case you’ve been on the gin (there’s a coronation one from John Lewis), the UK currently has more food banks (~2,500) than branches of McDonald’s (~1,350). The pound is trying to recover from a sinking to rival the Armada's, rights of free expression and protest are being stripped, and people can’t afford basic foodstuffs, homes, and bills. But at least the gin looks like it comes in petrol cans - so once you’re done with your gimlets, you can use the tin for your molotov cocktails. Less waste, more fun.

Gin in a tin from John Lewis

As mentioned before, merch makers from M&S to Etsy have been producing any and everything coronation. Except for Tampax. These purveyors of sanitary products to the British public have been sadly silent on the eve of their most famous influencer. For those of you who didn't know or have wilfully mind-bleached it out of your memory, leaked tapes once revealed that the then-Prince Charles told his then-mistress Camilla Parker Bowles that he wanted to be a tampon so he could "stay inside" her. You're welcome. Here's some chocolate heads to take the sting off. 

Black and white chocolate king charles heads

If you remember the surprise hit single "Prince Andrew is a Sweaty Nonce" by Kunt and the Gang, our favourite Basildon balladeer is back with "The Krown Jewels" asking "what do they do, what do they actually do" before launching into as eloquent an argument for a republic as Mark Thomas argues in The Lead. I've met Kunt. He played a friend's birthday party in Peckham a number of years ago when he was still using his real name. He made sense then and he makes even more sense now.

Kunt and the Gang

A sideways roundup of coronation merch is not complete without this fantastic piece of ceramic artistry. Long known for his big ears and prominent, swollen fingers, King Charles has long been depicted and, perhaps unfairly, mocked for his bodily appearance. Like the butcher in New Zealand who sold sausages calling them King Charles Sausage Fingers. Adam Johnson is a gentle ceramicist who threw down, imho, the most iconic piece of memorabilia this coronation season. The tone here nails it - the monarchy is here. We may like, dislike or be indifferent towards it. Like the rain, it’s seemingly constant with a few spells of sunshine. However you feel, at least you can laugh about it. Until that's banned, too.

Adam Johnson Coronation Sausages

Adam Johnson Coronation Sausages and Heads

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