Have you ever wondered what coronation merchandise used to look like?
In the spirit of His Majesty King Charles III’s upcoming coronation on the 6th of May 2023, we wanted to share with you some of the royal memorabilia from previous coronations.
From the very first piece of royal merchandise to Wedgewood’s anticipated 2023 release, we love taking a step back in time and looking at just how much merchandise has changed over the years.
Because merchandise and branded products are great at bringing these historical events straight to your door.
And good news: you’ve still got time to order some of your own merchandise for the occasion.
Check out our range of easily brandable, promotional merchandise. From decorations for your venue, street or outdoor party space to delicious treats and royal memorabilia.
It’s time to make your own coronation memories this May.
Coronation merchandise through the ages
The first example of coronation memorabilia: 1661
The coronation of King Charles II back in 1661 was the very first-time coronation memorabilia was produced.
After Oliver Cromwell’s rule ended, the return of the royal family was something to be celebrated, and what better way to honour the occasion than with merch?
We absolutely love these hand-made royal coronation plates. They were created before transfer printing for pottery had been invented, hence their unique appearance.
They’re extremely rare now (especially undamaged) and can sell for up to a whopping £60,000!
The first coronation mug: 1760
Coronations have become synonymous with mugs. They’re useful, easy to produce, and you can really have some creative flair when it comes to the design. But, have you ever wondered what the first coronation mug looked like?
Produced for King George III’s coronation in 1760, King George is depicted between figures representing Britannia and Fame.
This mug led the way for the coronation and royal merchandise as we know and love it today.
Through the invention of copper plates for porcelain printing, designs were easily (and quickly) reproduced in large quantities. The technique also reduced production costs.
This very well could be considered the ancestor of your very own branded mugs!
Queen Victoria’s coronation: 1838
We couldn’t do a post about royal memorabilia without featuring Queen Victoria’s gorgeous coronation mugs.
Commemorating Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838, these pearlware transfer-printed mugs have two portraits on them, one of Queen Victoria, and the other of her mother, The Duchess of Kent.
There’s also a secondary mug from Queen Victoria’s coronation that’s even rarer. This Swansea purple transfer mug depicts Victoria as a young girl, with ringlets in her hair and a daringly low-cut dress (for the time!).
Edward VII’s memorabilia: 1902
Back in 1902, it would be hard to change things last minute, especially when it came to producing branded products.
A good example of this is by taking a closer look at Edward VII’s coronation memorabilia.
You see, Edward VII’s coronation was originally scheduled to take place in June 1902.
However, he had a bout of appendicitis and almost died, so the coronation was postponed.
This meant that the coronation didn’t occur until August 1902, but the delay came too late for potters to amend the mugs. This means that they’re often still found with the original 1902 date on them.
The year of three kings: 1936 - 1937
When Edward VIII became King, he was meant to be crowned in 1937, with Wedgewood producing some fantastic coronation mugs (see below).
However, his coronation never happened as by December 1936, he’d abdicated to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson.
This meant that the above mug had to be adapted fast for the coronation of Edward’s younger brother, George VI.
Luckily, Wedgewood were able to adapt the original design of the coronation mug to reflect the new King. They chose to amend the colourways, so along with a yellow and blue-hued mug above, they also produced a light green and burnt orange one.
There’s also this lovely example of a bone china nursery tea set produced by Foley to commemorate George VI’s coronation.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation: 1953
Now that coronation memorabilia was more readily available, plus cheaper and quicker to produce, there’s a great array of merchandise that’s survived from 1953.
A particular school initiative at the time saw lots of school children being given a free mug to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. You might even have one of these still stashed in the back of the cupboard at home.
King Charles III's coronation memorabilia
In honour of the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, Wedgewood have once again released an extraordinary mug to commemorate the prestigious occasion.
This coronation cup is adapted from the original design of Queen Elizabeth’s II coronation mug. The design reflects the whimsical and the magical. It’s meant to depict the ‘Festival of Britain’ style from the 1950s, yet with a modern twist.
A truly magical piece for any royal collector.
Are you coronation ready?
This May, hang your red, white and blues and get your best teapot at the ready: it’s time to celebrate the King’s coronation and make some majestic memories with your friends and family.
From bunting to teapots. Cupcakes to hats. Whatever you need, we’ve got all the merchandise to have a royally good time.
It’s time to get into the coronation spirit with our fantastic collection of merchandise perfect for any royal celebration, and we’d love to see what you get up to! Send in your photos of your coronation parties and merchandise antics for a chance to be featured across our socials. Because we all know that a party shared is a party doubled!
Alternatively, take our quiz on Instagram to find the perfect branded products for your coronation plans.