memorabilia on surface

With Queen Elizabeth II's passing, royal memorabilia expected to increase in value

Demand for royal memorabilia has skyrocketed since the queen’s death in the United Kingdom. 

The World

Postcards and various memorabilia, which are related to Queen Elizabeth II, are on display at souvenir shop House of Men, in Hong Kong, on Sept. 10, 2022. The shop saw renewed interests from visitors on the first weekend after the queen's death.

Alice Fung/AP

Purple velvet curtains drape the window fronts at the official royal gift shop located just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace in London.

The shop has remained closed since Queen Elizabeth II’s death earlier this month.

But next door at Majestic Gifts, business is booming. Demand for royal memorabilia has skyrocketed since the queen’s death in the United Kingdom.

“It’s been really really busy for the last couple of weeks,” said manager Nasir Abdul, who admits the shop could have been more prepared for this moment.

Abdul said that when the news broke on Sept. 8, he rushed to place orders for hundreds of commemorative T-shirts and mugs emblemed with the queen’s face and referencing her years of service. 

entrance to souvenir shop

Lambert Souvenirs near Charing Cross in London.

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Rebecca Rosman/The World 

The biggest sellers over the last few weeks have been items commemorating the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which was celebrated in June to mark her 70 years on the throne.

Suzanne Kempe, who came to London for the day to take in the atmosphere, showed off some magnets with the queen’s face on them, which she’s planning on sending to friends in France.

“I was just looking at anything here really and seeing what was new,” she said.

Merchandise from the Platinum Jubilee generated more than $326 million in sales over the summer alone, according to the UK Center for Retail Research.

Shyam Sanghani, who runs Love London Souvenirs in Russell Square, said that anything with the queen’s face on it has been a hit for his family run shop, which recently celebrated 37 years in business.

man near table of merchandise

Shyam Sanghani, owner of Love London Souvenirs in London, shows a queen-themed souvenir display table.

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World 

Indeed, a 2021 poll found the queen’s brand allure was greater than Nike, Ferrari and Pepsi.

But Sanghani doesn’t think king-related merchandise will see as much popularity.

“For the past 70 years, it’s always been the queen. It’s going to be difficult — I don’t think we will sell as much for Charles.”

Royal superfan Anita Atkinson disagrees.

rows of mugs

Commemorative mugs sells for 25 pounds in a London shop.

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Rebecca Rosman/The World

“I have full faith in Charles’s selling power,” said Atkinson, who with 13,000 items and counting, has perhaps the largest personal collection of royal memorabilia in the world.

She has a small museum next to her house in Durham that’s filled with tea towels, calendars, oil paintings and hundreds of china plates. One of her favorite items is a framed napkin used by King Charles in 1977.

Atkinson’s collection is currently worth $225,000 but she said she isn’t interested in the money.

“I’m not bothered whether this collection is valuable because to me it's valueless,” she said. “I’m never going to sell a single piece of it, so it doesn't matter if it's worth a penny or a million pounds.”

rows of decorative plates on a shelf

Commemorative plates from the queen's Platinum Jubilee sell for 25 pounds in a London shop.

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Atkinson said that she plans to eventually pass the collection down to her grandchildren, and she hopes they will inherit the royalist ferver she’s been building up for decades.

But for people who do place a monetary value on these items, experts say hold on to them — they’ll be worth more and more in the coming years.