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The official chinaware to mark the first male monarch in 70 years is on sale today

NewsThe official chinaware to mark the first male monarch in 70 years is on sale today

A new collection of official commemorative chinaware to mark the Coronation has been created in a “masculine” ultramarine colour to reflect the first male monarch in 70 years. The souvenir china, which goes on sale today, has been produced for the Royal Collection Trust, a branch of the Royal Household, and features a new specially-commissioned Royal Coat of Arms design set against the backdrop of a “pure” blue colour.

Ian Grant, head of production development and buying for the trust, said: “At the very start of the process we wanted to develop a range that was reflective of the King.

“A lot of the ranges that we have produced over the last 30 years have very much reflected a female monarch and so we wanted to develop a range that was a bit more masculine.”

The new Royal Coat of Arms design is supported by a garland of laurel leaves which symbolise peace, as well as oak leaves which signify strength and longevity.

It also features the emblems of the four nations of the United Kingdom – thistle, rose, shamrock and daffodil – as well as an entwined ribbon that represents King Charles and the Queen Consort “working together in harmony”.

The RCT has marked every important royal event, including weddings, jubilees, as well as the life of Queen Elizabeth II, with commemorative collections since the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday in 2000.

Made in factories in Stoke-onTrent, the set includes a coffee mug, a tankard, pillbox, dessert plate, and a teacup and saucer, with many limited editions to follow.

The design also includes a proclamation stating “The Coronation of their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla 6 May 2023”.

It uses Queen Camilla rather than the Queen Consort title in keeping with Buckingham Palace’s decision to phase out the word consort after the Coronation.

Mr Grant explained that the ultramarine blue colour first became popular in medieval and Renaissance art to “depict people and characters of importance”.

This was because the colour was produced from the stone Lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone that has been prized historically for its intense blue colour, and was herefore very expensive.

“Using that type of blue to depict the importance of the character that they were painting was reflected in the fact that it was known to be an expensive pigment,” he said.

It remains an expensive pigment to source today, and the trust had to experiment with five different versions before finding the right hue.

“It’s quite unique and we had to do a lot of work with the ceramic chemists to try and achieve that,” Mr Grant said.

That cost of the pigment and other production expenses mean the new Coronation collection is signficantly more expensive than last year’s Platinum Jubilee chinaware, including £10 more for a tankard, a side plate and a teacup and saucer.

Mr Grant explained that the increase was due to the soaring energy and heating costs that the country has faced over the last year, even after cutting the production process from four firings to three and simplifying the desing.

The firing process, which glazes the clay up to a high temperature, lasts for 11 hours and is done overnight.

“To try and keep the prices under control we’ve made some changes to the design and the way that we produce things and that’s reflected in the slightly higher price than the Platinum Jubilee collection,” he said.

“But had we not made the changes that we made the prices could have potentially been higher than they are.”

The RCT is working with 12 factories in the Stoke-on-Trent area to produce the commemorative chinaware, meaning every single piece will have gone through 50 separate “highly-skilled hands”.

But the factories cannot be named because the Royal Household wants to avoid companies trading off the association.

Mr Grant said that the new collection commemorates a “very important occasion and we wanted to make sure that we celebrated it in the most appropriate way”.

“What we’ve tried to do with this collection is to really make it quite condensed, we’ve tried to focus down on the things our customers tell us they really want to buy – things like tankards, teacups and saucers and pillboxes – which we expect to be probably the most popular sells,” he added.

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