The nation will celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in just 13 days’ time – hanging out the Royal bunting and rejoicing by raising a glass or two of fizz in street parties across the land.
To mark the occasion, we will spend £300 million on patriotic cups, tea towels, spoons and other souvenirs, but could we make any money from these purchases?
GET A PERSONAL SLICE OF HISTORY
The vast majority of Coronation memorabilia will be pretty worthless – but practical items relating to the day’s events could be worth a small fortune.
You are unlikely to be one of the fortunate 2,000 invited guests, but if you come into possession of one of the beautiful invitations illustrated by Andrew Jamieson, you will be in luck.
Once the event is over, examples are likely to sell for four figures on popular trading websites.
Signed and sealed: A signed photo of the Princess of Wales can fetch £1,450 but one signed by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, will be worth only £160
Adrian Roose is founder of The Memorabilia Club, a website that specialises in historical items. He says: ‘If you are one of the lucky few invited to the party then grab anything you can – the invitation, menus, napkins – as there may be huge demand for these later on.’
You are only limited by your imagination. For example, a slice of wedding cake from the marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 now sells for at least £1,250.
Roose says: ‘Who knows what a slice of ‘Coronation quiche’ pocketed from the banquet after the main event could fetch if you freeze it in a Tupperware box?’
He suggests that Royal investors log into websites such as eBay the next day – or just a few hours after the event – to snap up items at bargain prices before Royal fever takes hold and prices ramp up.
PROVENANCE IS KEY TO RICHES
Getting your hands on something personal that one of the Royals has owned, touched or signed – and which is connected to the Coronation – is another way to make money. A signed photo by King Charles III can now change hands for £2,000 – with the value of his autograph almost doubling since the death of his mother last year.
Get with the programme: The official Coronation programme could be a valuable keepsake
While items bearing Queen Camilla’s signature also stand at a record high of £1,100, a dearth in demand for Meghan Markle signed photos has reduced their value to a mere £160. But a signed photo of sister-in-law Kate now commands a price of £1,450.
If the signed photo has a Coronation backdrop, its value is only going to go up.
Interest in King Charles III artwork has also taken an upturn since he inherited the crown. A signed limited-edition lithograph of Balmoral Castle painted by the Prince in 2001 sold for £5,738 last October. A similar print cost £270 in 2017.
Provenance is key and there must be some evidence that the item you are buying is the real thing and not a fake. A certificate of authenticity with proof must form part of a sale.
DON’T BE A MUG WITH POTTERY
Ann Parker, an antiques trader from Hungerford in Berkshire, says Royal enthusiasts should be aware that collecting can be fun, but is not always a great way to make a profit.
She says: ‘Behind all the colourful bunting, festive pottery and trinkets, you may find the odd hidden gem that makes money – but most of it will only be good for collecting dust.’
Earlier this month, the Royal Collection Trust issued an official set of commemoratives – selling a 22-carat gold-finished bone china cup and saucer set for £75 and mugs for £30.
Parker admires their visual appeal, but believes their high price tag does not mean they will automatically go up in value.
She says: ‘Most pieces are mass produced, so look out for strictly limited editions if you want items to climb in price.’
Food for thought: The ‘Coronation quiche’ has been given the seal of approval by Prue Leith
For example, only a thousand £195 Royal Collection Trust limited edition plates were made – and have already sold out.
They are now on sale on eBay for £850.
Parker says: ‘Historically, it is the finest porcelain manufacturers that make Royal collectables which rise in value.’ She adds: ‘Mugs have the most aesthetic appeal and this adds to their attraction to investors. I am a fan of loving cups. They have two handles, are elegant, but fragile.’
A Royal Crown Derby King Charles III Coronation Loving Cup, priced at £215, has now sold out – and may now be worth at least £300. A newly released Wedgwood King Charles Coronation Mug Limited Edition, costing £130, has also sold out.
As a barometer to where prices may head, a 1937 Royal Doulton King George VI Loving Cup now sells for £1,100.
SEEK OUT SOUVENIRS WITH ANOMALIES
Unexpected historic events add to investor appeal. So, keep an eye out in the shops for any memorabilia that includes an image of Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle commemorating the Westminster Abbey occasion – on anything from fridge magnets to T-shirts.
Given the couple were invited in early March, but did not officially reply until the April deadline had passed – souvenir manufacturers were unaware she would not be attending. Roose, of The Memorabilia Club, says: ‘There is something about Meghan that courts controversy – and you never know what might happen to memorabilia values if her actions have a dramatic effect on the Royal Family.
Cup winner: The Royal Crown Derby King Charles III Loving Cup has already sold out and could be worth £300
‘The briefcase she once modelled as a game show hostess in the American TV quiz Deal or No Deal was recently priced at £5,000. So, any items relating to the Coronation with her in them could soon be worth a fortune.’
‘Thank Goodness Meghan is not coming’ mugs are selling for just £16 – but they would soar in value if she suddenly turned up. Edward VIII abdicated at the end of 1936, just five months before he was due to be crowned, to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. A 1937 Paragon China King Edward VIII Coronation Loving Cup can be purchased for £100 – as many were made before the abdication was announced. If mugs have an ‘abdication’ mark etched on them they can fetch double the price.
A 1902 Coronation mug for Edward VII with the August crowning date on it is worth more than twice the £50 you might pay for a Royal Doulton cup with a June mark – the original date planned for the crowning. The Coronation was delayed when the king suffered from appendicitis.
Parker says: ‘If there is a problem with the forthcoming Coronation – perhaps if delayed for an unexpected reason – it will have an impact on prices. Investors should seek hastily produced replacements rather than the original mass-produced pieces.’
Mistakes also add to the value of an item. For example, an early Coronation coach made by toymaker Lesney Products for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation erroneously came with king and queen. They now change hands for £1,000.
Sought after: The official Coronation invitations designed by artist Andrew Jamieson are likely to fetch four-figure sums
…BUT BE WARY OF FANCY PACKAGING
One of the great appeals of Royal memorabilia is historic significance. They can be traced back to our king’s namesake King Charles II who was crowned in 1661 – following a decade of puritanical leadership under Parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell. Examples of King Charles II commemorative plates sell for £105,000.
Profit on a plate: The Coronation limited edition plates cost £195 but are already selling on eBay for £850
But it was not until the 1838 Coronation of Queen Victoria that the modern world of Royal collectables took off, and a Staffordshire Coronation mug from this era can sell for £800.
The artist Eric Ravilious is the most sought-after name in 20th Century Royal mugs. His style of art was so popular that even though killed during the Second World War, his designs were still copied for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – and these cups can sell for £250. Ravilious Wedgwood mugs made to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 can fetch £800.
Coronation coins also attract interest, but unfortunately with modern money you are usually paying over the odds for something with a lower intrinsic value.
For example, The Royal Mint is rolling out the red carpet with a whole host of Coronation coins launched tomorrow. They include a 50p piece and a £5 coin.
Missing out: Memorabilia experts say the value of this £16 mug could soar
But despite only ‘limited numbers’ being produced, they will be worth no more than their nominal value.
A gold Royal sovereign will also be issued to mark the day. Although having a nominal value of £1, its future trading price will be determined by the value of gold.
With a weight of 0.235 troy ounces, this means the coin’s true value will be about £400 – considerably less than the price The Royal Mint is expected to seek.
P.S. What if Meghan DID come after all…
Memorabilia experts say the value of this £16 mug that jokes ‘Thank goodness Meghan IS NOT coming’ could soar.