Hours after Prince William announced his engagement, England's "heritage souvenir" industry has flown into action. Commemorative royal wedding magazines! Royal wedding t-shirts! Royal wedding thimbles! A guide to the souvenirs already available, plus a few suggestions of our own, below.
The heritage souvenir industry confirms every single American stereotype about our royalty-worshipping, tea-sipping, sycophantic brothers across the Atlantic. Porcelain dinnerware is a heritage industry staple. This coffee cup from Aynsley China features William's and Kate's faces, the Windsor coat of arms, and bunch of ornate, pseudo-heraldic flourishes. Aynsley is sending a load of bone china to the porcelain-printer as we speak.
For £8.50 ($13.50), royal rubberneckers can have a t-shirt anticipating a 2011 wedding. What is the proper occasion to wear this shirt? To a bar to pick up guys?
An item with even less occasion for use: commemorative Kate Middleton porcelain thimbles. I guess you just display them, in a little glass case filled with all the other disembodied, porcelain heads of moderately famous white people who make great conversation starters? There are plans for crystal paperweights, pens, and knickknacks, too; the Royal Mint is expected to make coins.
Said one heritage souvenir manufacturer, "[The wedding] is very significant because it's something that will make people buy." Anyway, here's a coffee mug with today's date on it, commemorating not the wedding, but the announcement that a wedding will happen eventually.
Of course, if you want to be a cheapskate, you could always buy up the cast-offs from 2007, when Woolworth started production of Prince William-Kate Middleton wedding plates after a bogus rumor infected the British Isles with wedding fever.
But why stop at dinnerware? Sure, it's fun to eat a meal off Prince William's face, but there are so many other things that royal rubberneckers might enjoy...
Now introducing... the Royal Wedding Slanket, perfect for long, cold nights with your non-princely significant other. Watch the royal wedding TV cast from the comfort of your living room and the warmth of a fleece emblazoned with the faces of people you will never be—but, if you are lucky, may dream about.
And the Ye Royal Bachelor Party beer cozy! Because you know the brothers Windsor are going to spank some plebeian stripper ass before Wills hitches himself to the ol' ball 'n' chain.
And for those who prefer a finer vintage: The Wills and Kate Giant XL Wine Glass, which "holds a whole bottle of wine." Now you can weep into your booze all night long, without any of that pesky "need to pour more" business.
Royal wedding backscratcher! So you can scratch your back alone. So very alone. Alone at home with no one to marry. Rubbing your sweet spot, sighing, and dreaming of the day that a prince shows up to sweep you away...
...and when he comes with that glass slipper, you'll want to be ready with smooth feet. Now introducing the Royal Wedding Prince Charming Pedi-Egg! For sitting at home, grating your callouses like parmesan cheese, then opening up the back and staring at your torns shards of fungally afflicted dead skin with longing.
Our final item of dream Royal Wedding merchandise: Royal Wedding-branded Subtle Butt: The Fart-Neutralizing Butt Patch. Lie on the sofa in your Royal Wedding t-shirt, drinking Royal Wedding whiskey straight from a Royal Wedding mug, eating Royal Wedding Chunky Monkey straight from the carton, farting with joy. Some day you will tell your children about this momentous occasion! The day a pair of magical royal people rode in on unicorns for a fairy tale dream wedding wearing shiny stones worth more than your house as ornaments on their heads. Happy, happy day!