Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been credited with driving a boom in sales of royal merchandise, from tickets to Windsor family properties to royal family-branded tchotchkes at the gift shops at those properties, The Daily Beast reports.
The royal family owns several castles, manors, and other properties all across the United Kingdom, and visitors can purchase tickets to some of those properties, including Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle, and Frogmore House. And ticket revenues are up at those places. In the 2018/2019 financial year (or fiscal year), ticket revenue at Windsor family properties amounted to £48 million ($60 million).
One particular royal family property saw a huge increase in ticket revenue. Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan got married (at a private family chapel on the grounds), saw 1.2 million visitors, an estimated 200,000 of whom came to a special exhibition that offered a behind-the-scenes look at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, The Telegraph reports.
Other places that received a significant uptick in visitors, driven by an interest in Meghan and Harry, are a little more obscure. For example, £200,000 ($250,000) came from people who purchased tickets to a royal barn. The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is a working stable, and visitors paid good money to see the artifacts and animals there, including the royal carriage Harry and Meghan rode in after they tied the knot.
The carriage is one of five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews. The carriages are used in official and ceremonial state events, such as Coronations, Royal Weddings and State Visits. pic.twitter.com/GxckiNyCLu— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2018
The biggest boost in additional revenue came not from the royal tourist attractions themselves, but at the gift shops at those attractions. At those shops, you can buy all manner of royal-branded merchandise, from pet paraphernalia to clothing and everything in between.
The most popular royal tchotchkes are commemorative china bits & bobs, which the family commissions every time there’s a special thing that needs commemorating. For example, Prince Louis commemorative china flew off the shelves when he was born, as did commemorative china issued for the queen’s 90th birthday. Harry and Meghan’s wedding also got its own china, and royal gift shops couldn’t keep it on the shelves.
Not for nothing, the newest member of the royal family, Prince Archie, didn’t get a commemorative china set, due to him not having been granted an HRH (His Royal Highness) style.
All of this information comes from the Royal Collection Trust, which manages the crown’s extensive art collection as well as its properties and gift shops. Tim Knox, the director of the trust, said the previous financial year was a record-breaking one.
“It is with great pleasure and pride that I look back on the past 12 months, a year in which we welcomed a record number of visitors to the palaces, achieved the highest-ever level of retail sales and staged an unprecedented 22 exhibitions around the UK,” he wrote.