Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952. Now, a half century later, she has become only the second Queen in British history to reach her Golden Jubilee. This is an achievement she shares with her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Celebrations for the Golden Jubilee are taking place throughout the year 2002 with a Thanksgiving Service, special royalty exhibits, street parties, television broadcasts, parades, and more. Shops and street vendors are all joining in the celebration by selling a variety of Golden Jubilee souvenirs.
There has always been a great deal of enthusiasm about collecting subsequent souvenirs of the Queen's royal events. Commemoratives can be found from the time of the young Princess Elizabeth's birth and childhood days as a princess through her 1953 coronation as Queen and her 1977 Silver Jubilee. In addition, the Queen's birthdays, wedding anniversaries and State Visits have been celebrated in the form of souvenirs.
The most common royalty souvenirs are pottery pieces, glassware, and food tins. Most collectors consider a portrait to be an important feature on these souvenirs. Equally important is an inscription giving the name, occasion, and date. Gaining in popularity as collectable souvenirs are royalty theme commemorative postcards, advertising cards, programs, magazines, and newspapers. Souvenirs, though, are not limited to these categories. It is difficult to think of many common items that have not at one time or another been designated as royal commemorative souvenirs. Jewelry, kitchen accessories, smoking paraphernalia, and clothing have all been utilized. Because of the sheer numbers manufactured, most of these common everyday items are easy to find. An interesting and varied collection can be formed with these common souvenirs- without the need of a large financial outlay.
While some collectors consider the investment of potential commemoratives, especially in the case of limited editions, this aspect of collecting is of secondary importance. The primary concern should be with the visual impact and with the historical relevance of design. If the souvenir records all the pertinent information fully, then it has succeeded as a true royalty commemorative. Actually, the most important thing to remember when collecting anything, including royalty souvenirs, is to buy only the items that are appealing to you. Your personal satisfaction will increase proportionally as your collection continues to grow.
Today's royalty commemoratives are recording tomorrow's history. A royalty commemorative not only records the event, it often reflects the design, emotions and sentiments of a particular era. It's still easy and economical to find royalty commemoratives relating to Queen Elizabeth's life and reign, thus building an interesting historical collection, which can be added to as more events occur during this Queen's reign. -Audrey B. Zeder
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