Like many other folks on this side of the pond, including President and Mrs. Obama, my invitation to the Royal Wedding never arrived. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t lost in the mail.
Not that I would have gone even if I’d been invited. Nashville to London is a mighty long airplane ride, especially for someone who doesn’t like to fly. And I’m fairly certain the bride and groom would have been underwhelmed with the crock pot I would have chosen as a wedding gift. But mostly I wasn’t all that interested in the wedding because I’m not all that interested in royalty. I didn’t bother to get up in the middle of the night thirty years ago to watch Diana marry Charles on television. Why should it be any different with Kate and Wills?
Besides, thanks to 24-hour news coverage and You Tube, I knew I could watch reruns of this wedding whenever I wanted and as often as I wanted. Which ended up totaling about five minutes.
Way more interesting than the wedding itself was all the hoopla leading up to it. And now that it’s over, it’s tons of fun to shop for mementos. Google “royal wedding souvenirs” and you’ll get more than two million hits. No kidding. I clicked on just a few of the sites and was amazed at the variety of stuff available to anyone who wants to remember the Prince and Princess’s special day.
Dishes, for starters. You can buy everything from a decorative plate with the happy couple’s photograph on it to a bone china cup and saucer to a stoneware coffee mug. Or how about a mint tin or a spoon rest or a magnetic kissing prince and princess salt-and-pepper shaker set?
If you’re worried about moisture rings on your tables, you can choose coasters with pithy sayings like KEEP CALM IT’S ONLY A WEDDING and DON’T PANIC THERE’S STILL ONE PRINCE LEFT on them. Perhaps you’d prefer a mouse pad or key ring or tote bag. Or maybe a baseball cap or teddy bear or a six-pack of bath soap. Especially nice are Kate-and-Wills paper dolls or, on a grander scale, life-size cutouts of the future King and Queen.
Best of all are the replicas of Kate’s iconic engagement ring.
The ring, as the entire world most assuredly knows by now, was originally given to Diana by Charles back in 1981. It’s made of 18k white gold and features a honkin’ big oval sapphire encircled by 14 diamonds. The original purchase price was 28,000 pounds (about 47,000 dollars). A similar ring purchased today would cost approximately 85,000 pounds (about 142,000 dollars). Diana/Kate’s actual ring, often described as “the most coveted piece of jewelry in the world,” is valued at several million dollars.
I only hope that Kate remembers to put it in a safe place when she takes it off to wash dishes.
If that price tag is a little too high, don’t despair. Believing that any girl can be a princess, several companies have made replicas of Kate’s ring available for purchase by commoners. Rings set with a genuine sapphire and real diamonds can be had for less than $10,000. Or for way less, let’s say $87, you can buy a sterling silver band with 14 Diamonisse stones surrounding a magnificent three-carat synthetic sapphire. I’m guessing that means blue glass. If you’re willing to substitute cubic zirconia for Diamonisse, the price falls to $69.99.
Still too much? For a mere $19.90, you can own a Royal Heirloom Ring comprised of a simulated Ceylon sapphire surrounded by fourteen scintillatingly brilliant cz’s. Best of all, this ring comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and its very own hinged decorative velveteen jeweler’s box.
I was going to order one of those $19.90 rings for myself until I decided I’d rather have a magnetic kissing prince and princess salt-and-pepper set instead.
(May 8, 2011)