Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Souvenir seekers have to improvise

No merchandise planned so anything with Union Jack must do

Jason Wong of the Union Jack's British Food Store is all geared up for the royal tour. Photo / Richard Robinson
Jason Wong of the Union Jack's British Food Store is all geared up for the royal tour. Photo / Richard Robinson

New Zealanders expecting specially made souvenirs to commemorate next month's visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are likely to be disappointed.

But they can still pick up all the trimmings for a royal party with leftover merchandise from the couple's wedding and the birth of their son, George.

Apart from New Zealand Post's commemorative stamps and coin, Herald investigations were unable to find any royal keepsakes produced especially for the April 7 to 16 New Zealand visit.

Margaret Brittain, co-owner of British Goods, a UK-themed store in Wellington, said the short notice of the visit meant it was impossible to order stock in time.

"By the time we ordered that it would be next June," she said. "The time it takes to order it and by the time it gets here, we'd have to order it, get it made and get it delivered.

"The Jubilee stuff with the Queen, we knew that was coming for a year but this tour's only been announced in the last couple of months and so they won't have even thought about doing anything for over here."

She said sales of Union Jack emblazoned merchandise, including bunting flags, tablecloths, napkins, paper plates and cutlery were expected to sell very well for people planning royal parties.

"[New Zealanders] like to celebrate generally by having a little party, that's the only way they will do it. We tend to be a bit laid back over here, don't we."

Auckland store Union Jack's also stocked a range of gimmicks and manager Jason Wong said royal parties were the most common way customers celebrated royal events.

"The custom-made stock doesn't have very good turnover, and once the event is finished you just can't shift the stock. But lots of people have royal parties and talk about their families doing all that kind of stuff. Some people do street parties in their areas."

- NZ Herald

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