Top 5 investment-worthy Royal Wedding memorabilia...3 years on!



2015-06-26 11:33:59

Forget mugs and tea towels, which Royal Wedding memorabilia is still gaining value?

It’s been three whole years since the nation’s favourite couple, Prince William and Catherine Middleton, officially became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In those three years, the newlyweds have got well underway with family making, producing a new heir to the British throne – the adorable Prince George of Cambridge.

You’re probably reminded of the Royal Wedding every time you fill up that commemorative mug you bought at the time, or do the dishes with your Kate and Wills tea towel.

Or every time someone mention’s Pippa Middleton’s bottom – still the hottest subject of conversation in some circles.

However, while the Duke and Duchess have been making steady progress continuing the royal line, has your commemorative collectible been appreciating in value?

Sadly, it’s more likely to have lost money…

An Aynsley China royal engagement cup would have set you back £32.95 in the excitement leading up to the wedding. Today, the same mug can be picked up for less than £15 on eBay today.

You can blame your losses on Queen Victoria...

When Victoria married Prince Albert on February 10, 1840, she was besotted with her catch and wanted the world to know. Commemorative items were produced in their thousands, marking the first truly mass-produced royal memorabilia available to the public.

Supplies of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert mugs have dwindled in the 174 years since their marriage, but are still so common that they still only sell for around £25 – that’s almost £10 less than the original retail price for a Kate and Wills cup.

Regardless of the monarch, there are just too many commemorative items made for each event to ever make much money.

Yet there are royal collectibles worth investing in, but they have to be unique, museum-grade items with a strong connection to the royal family, not two-a-penny items churned out to make a quick buck.

Take a look at some of the top performers in the past three years:

**5. A slice of cake from the wedding ceremony **

Image: PFC Auctions

The genius behind the most glorious gateau seen in recent years was Fiona Cairns – also known as the Queen of Cakes. The 100kg, eight-tier was made by hand and transported to London in 40 boxes, costing around £20,000 to make.

650 guests at the Buckingham Palace reception were presented with a slice of the sumptuous fruitcake, but many more were left empty-handed.

However, you can still get your hands on a piece (which is ‘probably’ still edible) for just £1,918.

That’s the world-record price paid by one bidder at PFC Auctions, which offered the very first slice to sell at auction as part of its May 2012 auction.

A spokesperson from PFC Auctions said, "Here's proof, if it were needed, of the power of the British royal family at auction.

"The cake offered a tantalising glimpse, and taste, of arguably the most celebrated wedding of all time, which made it irresistible to bidders - what a superb start to the Jubilee celebrations".

4. Prince William’s autograph

Image: Paul Fraser Collectibles

They may not court attention like some of the less dignified celebrities among us, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been afforded the same international renown as many A-listers.

Prince William has become something of a reluctant heartthrob, and his autograph is now in strong demand.

Between 2012 and 2013, a top quality autograph from the future king shot up in value by 33.3% from £1,500 to 2,000.

Imagine how much that’ll be worth when he finally takes to the throne…

**3. Kate Middleton’s see-through dress **

Image: Kerry Taylor Auctions

What do you wear to woo a prince? Well, when William met the 19-year-old Kate back in 2002 she wasn’t wearing much at all.

The future duchess first turned the prince’s head when she took part in a first year fashion show at St Andrews university, wearing a now-famous strapless dress made from knitted lace.

Marking the moment the future king and queen first caught each other’s eyes, and offering a “brief” glimpse of Catherine’s underwear, it sold for £78,000 ($105,000) in 2011.

“She looked fabulous and I think she could become a style icon like Princess Diana,” added designer Charlotte Todd, who walked away from the sale with a smile on her face but may regret parting with the dress so soon: values are sure to continue rising.

2. Princess Diana wedding memorabilia

Image: Wikimedia Commons

As Kate and William tied the knot, it was hard not to think of Princess Diana’s spectacular wedding to Prince Charles – who could forget?

600,000 people turned up to see Diana en route to the ceremony in 1981, the People’s Princess looking breathtaking in her £9,000 dress.

Designer Elizabeth Emanuel says she still gets requests for replicas of the dress to this day, but this was a one-off, and will never appear for sale. However, a second dress – designed as Diana’s back-up but never worn by the princess – made £100,000 in 2005.

The real deal is probably the most famous wedding dress ever made, and tours with the exhibition Diana: A Celebration when not being stored at Althorp House, Diana’s ancestral home.

The scrapbook that Emanuel compiled for the wedding, complete with fabric samples and photos from the event, sold for £3,194 at PFC Auctions in 2012, along with a slice of Diana and Charles’ wedding cake, which proved slightly less valuable than Kate and Wills’ at £1,756.

**1. Duke and Duchess of Windsor memorabilia **

Image: Sotheby's

It’s probably the greatest royal love story of all time – British King Edward VII gives up his throne in favour of alluring American socialite Wallis Simpson, abdicating in favour of a romantic life of luxury with his true love.

The softhearted collectors among us still clamour for items from the star-crossed lovers, and values continue to rise. The lavish leopard bracelet that Edward had created for Wallis Simpson from Cartier, studded with diamonds and onyx, still holds the record for the most expensive bracelet ever sold at auction at £4.5m.

“You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.” – Wallis Simpson.

See the stunning selection of royal memorabilia for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

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