When I flew through London two weeks ago, there were a ton of London souvenirs on offer at Heathrow, commemorating everything from the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics this summer to the general fabulousness of the city. I mean, really, isn't London really the most fabulous place on the planet? (Cagatay and I have been talking about going this summer, and this is the angle I am pushing: How can you not want to go?)
I got back to Istanbul yesterday, just in time to watch the last day and a half of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in real time. I managed to stay awake until the end of the concert last night (I found the graphics projected onto the facade of Buckingham Palace to be especially memorable, along with the fireworks show, the scope of which was probably more evident on TV.) I watched the thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral this morning, and after a little nap, the afternoon carriage procession.
But one of my favorite things about these types of events, I have to admit, are the souvenirs that come with them, mostly because they really capture a feeling of a specific time and place. You can buy so many international/exotic souvenirs in the US now at places like Pier 1 or World Market, but it's not half as much fun as when you travel to that place and discover them for yourself, you know?
And without further ado, my favorite Queen's Diamond Jubilee souvenirs, with price (or kitsch) no object:
1. Alessi Alessandro corkscrew, £49 2. Emma Bridgewsater teapot, £75 3. Blue Union Jack and Corgi Cushion, £12 4. Crown fridge magnet, £4 5. Solar Queen, $20 6. Set of four spoons, £40 7. Bloomsberry chocolate bar, £3 8. Limited edition Jubilee astro, £75 9. Henry Holland celebration tea towel, £25 10. Lego minifigure Royal Guard, $3
The only item I own of this group is the Lego minifigure (which wasn't actually intended to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee at all as it came out last summer) though we almost bought a Solar Queen when we saw it in Amsterdam. The mini-Queen waves her hand perfectly, obsessively, when in sunlight, and there's something just so silly and captivating about it.