Entertainment behind the scenes
Parents cashing in on royal couple?
The parents of Prince William and Kate Middleton have not missed the marketing opportunity their children’s upcoming royal wedding presents.
Middleton’s family, which runs a party paraphernalia company called Party Pieces, has begun stocking regal trivia cards with crowns to scratch off and retailing at 3.99 pounds for a pack of 10. The cards, added to a range of products on offer for street parties — expected to be held up and down the country on the day of the wedding — have left the Middletons open to criticism that they are tastelessly cashing in on their daughter’s marriage to the second in line to the throne.
Now Prince William’s father Charles has hit the headlines after a jigsaw puzzle featuring a photograph of the young couple went on sale at the shop of his Gloucestershire home Highgrove. The wooden set is priced at 29.95 pounds, and while other wedding-related gifts are already available at the store, the Daily Mail argues that the puzzle “stands out from a range of more demure wedding souvenirs.”
A spokeswoman for the prince said such items went on sale “in response to customer demand”, and pointed out that all profits from the sales go to charity.
Are the parents guilty of vulgar profiteering? Or are they doing the sensible thing by taking an opportunity to boost revenues? And are they any worse than countless other companies selling souvenirs – ranging from cheap porcelain to condoms to sick bags – ahead of the April 29 celebrations?