Royal coffers see £21.7m year thanks to memorabilia from celebrations

Royal merchandise rakes in a record £21.7m year thanks to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the birth of Prince Louis and Charles’ 70th birthday 

  • The Royal Collection saw its retail sales jump from £18.2 million to £21.7 million 
  • The increase was triggered by a year filled with high-profile royal celebrations 
  • The celebrations include Harry and Meghan’s wedding and Prince Louis’ birth 

The Royal Collection saw a record year of sales after several high profile royal celebrations over the past 12 months. 

Its annual report showed that retail sales jumped to £21.7 million in 2018/2019 – an increase of £3.5 million from £18.2 million the year before.

A bumper year of royal celebrations including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding led to the record.

Commemorative china was produced to mark the wedding, as well as the birth of Prince Louis, Princess Eugenie’s wedding and the 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales. 

Royal coffers enjoyed a record year of income thanks to several high-profile events, including the wedding of Harry and Meghan

The report said: ‘Merchandise celebrating royal events drove record sales on site and online.

‘Commemorative ranges of china were produced to mark the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge, the weddings of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and of Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank, and the 70th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.’

Other pieces of royal merchandise that contributed to the record included a range of cuddly Corgi toys paying tribute to the Queen’s favourite pets. 

Royal Collection shops and its online site also launched two new collaborations – a range of silk pyjamas, eye masks and scarves by the designer and illustrator Karen Mabon featuring Corgis and crowns, plus a collection of jewellery by Vicki Sarge, inspired by pieces worn by the Queen.

The Queen’s official residences meanwhile enjoyed a record 3.3 million visitors in the last financial year, compared to 2.96 million the year before.

Admissions income including Gift Aid rose by £7.5 million from £40.8 million to £48.3 million.

Tim Knox, the new director of the Royal Collection Trust, wrote: ‘It is with great pleasure and pride that I look back on the past 12 months, a year in which we welcomed a record number of visitors to the palaces, achieved the highest-ever level of retail sales and staged an unprecedented 22 exhibitions around the UK.’

The birth of Prince Louis was another significant royal event, and was a factor in the Royal Collection’s record year of income

The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank also contributed to the record year

Prince Charles 70th birthday, as well as the other royal events, was marked by a set of fine china, which raised money for the Royal Collection

Among the displays were the royal wedding outfits of Harry and Meghan and Princess Eugenie at Windsor Castle, a summer exhibition of more than 100 works of art selected by heir to the throne Charles to mark his 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace, and a major exhibition of work by Leonardo da Vinci.

With Buckingham Palace undergoing a major building renovation project, Royal Collection staff had to carry out condition surveys of more than 3,800 works of art housed in the 200 rooms of the palace’s East Wing before the work could begin.

While many pieces of art were moved elsewhere in the palace and to other royal residences, more than 150 works of art and ‘extraordinary objects’ which furnished George IV’s the Royal Pavilion in Brighton will return on loan to their original seaside home.

The Pavilion’s contents were moved to London after Queen Victoria sold the building in 1850, and were used by Prince Albert to furnish the East Wing.

The trust maintains and displays the large collection of royal artefacts from artwork to furniture held in trust by the Queen for her heirs and the nation.

It also carries out other charitable work.

The report showed that in the last year 27,028 object records and 41,739 images were added to the collections management system; 53,319 objects were checked; 1,018 decorative arts items were conserved; 488 prints and drawings were conserved or mounted; 1,911 books, manuscripts and archival material and 271 paintings were conserved.

The removal of more than 3,300 items of furniture, ceramics, chandeliers and sculpture from the East Wing of Buckingham Palace provided the opportunity to conserve a number of pieces, including a large Russian Korgon porphyry vase and pedestal, presented to Queen Victoria by Emperor Alexander II.

The memorabilia that led to a record £21.7 million income for the Royal collection 

Here’s a look at some of the ranges which helped towards the record £21.7 million in retail income for the collection last year.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding china

Cornflower blue with white detailing, Harry and Meghan’s official commemorative china featured a gold monogram of the couple’s initials side by side, tied together with a white ribbon and surmounted by Harry’s coronet.

The decorative border on each piece was inspired by the couple’s wedding venue.

Harry and Meghan’s official commemorative china featured a gold monogram of the couple’s initials side by side, tied together with a white ribbon and surmounted by Harry’s coronet

It was based on the stylised tree ironwork of the 13th century Gilebertus door of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where the couple married in May 2018.

The fine bone china range included a miniature coffee mug which cost £19.95, a standard coffee mug for £25, a pillbox at £35, a tankard for £39 and a plate at £49.

Some items are still available including the mug, but many – such as a £35 royal wedding candle with “a rich floral fragrance of white lilies, orange blossoms, neroli, tuberose, violets and lily of the valley on a delicate base of vanilla and musk” – have sold out.

Prince Louis’s birth

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child was welcomed with china decorated with gold ribbons, silver pompoms and a coronet-inspired pattern.

The range featured a lion cub and unicorn inspired by the Royal Arms and included a pillbox costing £35, a tankard for £39 and a plate priced at £49.

Prince Louis’ birth was welcomed with china decorated with gold ribbons, silver pompoms and a coronet-inspired pattern

Eugenie’s wedding range

Princess Eugenie is not a senior royal, but the glittering wedding of the Queen’s granddaughter to Jack Brooksbank was also recognised with royal souvenirs.

The design was the couple’s conjoined gold monogram surmounted by Eugenie’s coronet.

The surrounding garlands of ivy were woven with traditional English wild bluebells, forget-me-nots and the white rose of York.

Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank was also recognised with royal souvenirs

Items included a miniature teacup and saucer for £25, a tankard for £39 and a £20 wedding coaster, now available for £10.

The tea towel which originally cost £9.95 is now available at for £4.95.

The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday

Charles’s milestone was marked with a host of blue, red and gold china souvenirs.

The pieces featured a specially painted coat of arms with the shield of the Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales’s Red Dragon badge, and daffodils, the national flower of Wales.

As well as the traditional tankard, tea cup and saucer and pill box, there was also a limited edition rectangular tray for £145 and a limited edition charger plate costing £195.

Charles’s 70th birthday milestone was marked with a host of blue, red and gold china souvenirs

The cuddly corgi

The Queen is known for her love of corgis and has owned more than 30 of the diminutive dogs.

Although the Royal Collection does not issue separate sales figures for each of its ranges, the cuddly corgi is one of its most popular items.

The 30cm tribute to the Queen’s beloved former pets features a red collar with a gold medallion and costs £19.95.

The monarch no longer has any corgis left after her final one Whisper died last year.

The 30cm tribute to the Queen’s beloved corgis features a red collar with a gold medallion and costs £19.95

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