The National Archives might be shut today (for maypole dancing or demonstrating - we just don’t know) but they’re amusing us all through the release of correspondence between Buckingham Palace and the Home Office from 1947 about affairs of grave, national importance.
Wedding tat, to be exact.
That pivotal moment in history when the good old, tacky ‘n’ tasteless, cheap and cheerful royal wedding souvenir trade emerged straying mutinously far from the acceptable tradition of gilt edged commemorative plates.
Consider this: is it appropriate to blow one’s nose on the Queen and her imminent husband?
This troubled Commander Dudley Colles in the Privy Purse Office who thought it was definitely "not desirable" and wrote letters of concern to the Home Office asking how to prevent such a frightful Union flag & happy couple snotrag being produced. His efforts were in vain, though, and Colles had to content himself with a strongly worded letter to the manufacturer and faith that any good sort of patriotic hanky purchaser wouldn't dream of filling it with bogies - preferring, instead, to lay it aside for posterity.
Ah, it was another time entirely.
Far worse for the Royal Household, however, were crappy plastic Union flags, manufactured in Stoke Newington, "defaced with representations" of the royal pair slap bang in the middle. The Palace and Home Office bemoaned the shoddy design of the flags and noted, horrified, that Philip was rendered "almost… a caricature".
Hmm. Some things just don’t change.
Image of contemporary royal tat courtesy of Cadigan’s Flickrstream