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Object of the Day: A Dear Souvenir of the Marriage of Charles and Diana

Friday, April 29, 2011

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This morning at 3:00 AM Central time, Bertie and I settled in to watch the marriage of Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales, the newly created Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We were joined by most of the rest of the world and, with millions of other people, we wished them well. It was a stunning ceremony and perfect in every detail from the trees which lined the aisle to Princess Katherine’s gorgeous gown, accented by the Queen Mother’s Scroll Tiara (also known as the “Halo” Tiara.


Comparisons to other Royal weddings were inevitable, especially since reporting the history of such events has become a major part of my career. In light of that, today’s object is a special and unusual souvenir. You’ve all seen many of the items in my collection of Royal memorabilia. One of the most darling objects in that collection is one of the most untraditional and unexpected.

This mug, created for the ill-fated 1981 marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is not the usual souvenir mug, but, rather one which bears images created by children of the time. In 1981, I was seven years old and recall watching the wedding—mystified. Perhaps that’s why I feel such a connection to this mug. The art work is from the hands of Annamaria Reid (aged 7) and Stephen Winder (aged 8) both of the Hornsea Primary School in Hornsea, England. The images are a child’s idea of that lavish wedding. With the title, “A loyal message to Prince Charles and Lady Diana on their marriage, 1981,” the mug shows these innocent interpretations of the occasion with the caption, “Prince Charles is marrying Lady Diana because she is pretty.” And, she was. And, I suspect, he did.

As the handsome Prince married his new Princess today, we can’t help but have similarly childish thoughts. On behalf of U.S. Royal Watchers, we wish them all the very best as they begin their life together.




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