The official range of commemorative china to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee goes on sale today (Monday, 10 October). The Royal Collection range was inspired by the Rockingham Service, first used in 1838 at the coronation banquet of Queen Victoria, the only other monarch to celebrate 60 years on the throne. Commissioned by William IV in 1830, the service was produced in Yorkshire by the Rockingham Works and is possibly the most elaborate service ever made by an English factory, taking eight years to complete. At the centre of the design is William IV’s coat of arms, which has been specially redrawn for the Diamond Jubilee.
The Rockingham Service is still used at State Banquets and was last in use for the State Visit of President Barack Obama and Mrs Obama in May. Pieces from the service can be seen in the China Museum at Windsor Castle.
Nuala McGourty, Retail Director at the Royal Collection, said, ‘We are delighted with this design and believe that we have developed a truly exceptional range of products that will serve as a fitting celebration of this momentous occasion. We wanted to create a design that was decorative and feminine, and that would provide the right provenance for the Diamond Jubilee.’
The official Diamond Jubilee china is handmade exclusively for the Royal Collection in Stoke-on-Trent, by the potteries that made the official range of commemorative china for the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their methods have remained unchanged for 250 years. Each item is individually cast and hand decorated, then embellished with several layers of raised, burnished gold, before a final layer of gilding in 22-carat gold is applied, again by hand.
The border decoration includes raised and gilded oak leaves, acorns and the national symbols of the daffodil, rose and thistle, entwined over a blue base. On selected pieces in the range there is an inscription of a passage from The Queen’s Accession speech. It reads, ‘I shall always work to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all over the world.’
Nuala McGourty explained, ‘Following the tremendous success of the Royal Wedding china, we have used the same skilled craftspeople, at the same six potteries, to create our Diamond Jubilee range, giving the factories a vital, consistent stream of work. We have always been committed to supporting the incredible talent of those who work in the potteries. This range is even more labour-intensive in production than the Royal Wedding china. Some of the pieces go though nine different processes, several firings – and require highly skilled craftspeople at each stage.’
A tankard (£39), teacup and saucer (£49), domed pill box (£30), 7-inch plate (£35), 10-inch plate (£95), coffee mug (£25), pill-box clock (£65) and lionhead beaker (£75), form the central range. Two limited-edition pieces of 1,000, a loving cup (£175) and charger plate (£145) will also be available. All pieces come in a presentation box and are wrapped in Royal Collection tissue paper. Further products in the Diamond Jubilee range will be added at a later date.
The official Diamond Jubilee commemorative range can be purchased online from Monday, 10 October at www.royalcollection.org.uk/shop. It is also available from the Royal Collection shops in London at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, at Windsor Castle and in Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, telephone 0845 330 2898.
All profits from the sale of the Diamond Jubilee china range are dedicated to the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of the Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection and the promotion of public access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.
For further media information and samples, please contact Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: +44 (0)20 7839 1377, e-mail: email@example.com.
A selection of images is also available from the Royal Collection’s folder in the ‘Companies Available’ section on PA’s Picselect at www.picselect.com