Millions of people around the world are counting down to it, their hearts and imaginations captivated by the sheer scale and exuberance of the event: the appeal of royal weddings is irresistible. But when an actress quits Hollywood to marry a prince, this is truly the stuff fairy tales are made of.
Naturally, there are a lot of businesses that have tried to tap into what is shaping up to be the wedding of the year. Merchandise galore fuels the spending spree: but despite the multitude of memorabilia available to fans worldwide, it can be incredibly hard to find original and quirky merchandise to commemorate the occasion. You know, something you might actually want to buy.
With Prince Harry and Meghan-mania in full swing, we've asked three businesses that scaled up through our Innovating for Growth programme to share what they have done to mark the Royal Wedding. And how they got the inspiration for their incredibly creative alternative souvenir ranges: from quirky socks to collectibles raising funds for The Windsor Homeless Project.
Alice, founder of revolutionary souvenir shop We Built This City championing creativity in London's Carnaby Street: As soon as the engagement was announced, we spotted a fantastic opportunity to position We Built This City as the home of alternative Royal Wedding souvenirs with every purchase also supporting London's creatives.
Our unique collection has been curated with both tourists and Londoners in mind, especially those throwing a party this weekend and who have a sense of humour around all the media madness!
For those a little overwhelmed by the hype, we're selling commemorative plates 'mistakenly' featuring Meghan marrying Ed Sheeran, Lydia Leith's now famous Sick Bags and 'No Bank Holiday' Notes.
Alongside the more humorous pieces, our artists have created a really fresh and contemporary set of souvenirs that celebrate the youthful and fun nature of Harry and Meghan. And for our customers throwing parties on the day of the wedding, we're offering Royal Wedding themed biscuits, chocolate, tea, Royal Bingo and of course a Queen's Head Jelly Mould!
To celebrate in-store, we've also commissioned an artist duo Crispin Finn to create a Royal Wedding themed storefront. Their installation is called 'Together Forever' and is a nod to the royal nuptials as well as to the strength of our creative community. This has been a great PR driver for us and has been captured by the 15 international TV crews who've come to interview us since we launched the collection.
Alice also stocks other fellow Innovating for Growth businesses' souvenirs in her Carnaby Street shop: Chattyfeet's quirky royal sock range and Victoria Eggs' beautiful British designs.
Gil, co-founder of funky and fun ChattyFeet socks guaranteed to put a smile on your face: Here at ChattyFeet, weâre really excited about the royal wedding and decided to go on a special sock tour around London! Kate Middle-Toe and the Sock Queen were discussing whether wearing ChattyFeet to the wedding will be allowed. We certainly hope that people wonât have to sacrifice their creativity for the sake of royal etiquetteâŠ
Many people got in touch with us via email, Instagram and Twitter asking whether Meghan socks are coming next. Weâre considering this very seriously and created a long list of pros and cons that weâre still debating as we speakâŠ
Victoria, founder of Victoria Eggs playful homeware and gifts inspired by a love of all things British: We are very excited to have launched a range of commemorative gifts to celebrate the Royal Wedding, all of which are proudly made in Britain.
The design features beautifully illustrated rose garlands, wedding bells and Windsor Castle, along with the names of the happy couple, date and location. The collection of gifts includes a mug, tea towel, apron and canvas bag, all attractively packaged to create perfect Royal Wedding souvenirs.
When starting the design I wanted to create something that that was traditional with a modern twist: I began by drawing Windsor castle, a Queenâs Guard and Union Jack, and included roses which are the national flower of England. The finishing touch was placing four church bells ringing out over the celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markleâs wedding below!
If you're in London, take a trip down to Harrods where you can find Victoria's beautiful souvenirs. If not, check out the online shop guaranteed to brighten up your day with a great selection of elegant yet fun British-made home wares.
Are you an ambitious business owner looking to scale up like Alice, Gil or Victoria? If so, Innovating for Growth is a free three-month programme to help you turn your growth idea into a reality. Find out more and apply now!
Ewa Domaradzka, Commercial Marketing Manager