When Queen Elizabeth died in September, Carl Hulme was in England — the perfect place to pick up commemorative fine china, tea towels and canvas bags to stock his store, the Blimeys British Store and Gift Shop, in Essex, Ontario.

Most of these items were sold as merchandise marking King Charles’ May 6 coronation arrived at his store about 30 miles from the Windsor-Detroit border.

But with the new ruler’s lesser popularity and recent royal dramas which have sparked debates over attachment to the monarchy, Mr Hulme and others were unsure there would be much demand for the memorabilia of the King Charles in Canada.

“With the Queen, most of us grew up with her. She’s the only sovereign we’ve ever known and so with the passing of the queen, it sort of ended an era, so I wasn’t sure.”

His doubts subsided, while Victoria Eggs cups and saucers with a coronation design and Emma Bridgewater cups celebrating the king’s reign sold at a brisk pace at Blimeys.

Elsewhere in Canada and online, one can find Charles and Coronation themed coins, stamps, Nespresso coffee pods, McVitie’s cookie tins, Royal Scot Crystal decanters and robes, pajamas, Marks crowned pillows, socks, cosmetic bags and teddy bears

Mark a historic moment

Joanne McNeish, a professor specializing in marketing at Metropolitan University of Toronto, suspects the product line will delight Canadian monarchists, royalists, memorabilia collectors and many who just want something to mark a historic moment.

“ People love a big event and the closer the event gets, the more the idea of ​​having something to remember will intensify, so in Canada […] I really think there is an appetite”, said- she advanced.

She suspects most of that interest will come from older buyers, who are more into anything historic. But at the same time, she points out that Gen Z also increasingly likes nostalgic items.

She estimates that memorabilia collectors or people picking up items now with the hope of reselling them for a profit years later will only account for 5% of buyers.

Between celebrations, souvenirs, books and tourism, the Center for Retail Research in Norfolk, England, anticipates that more than £1.4 billion (£2.3 billion) will be spent on the coronation by UK consumers.

Center director Joshua Bamfield has estimated that the “overseas enthusiasts” will generate £79m (132m) in sales.

“Most of it will be American, of course, but I would think Canadians’ spending on coronation goods would be around £8m (13m) naturally,” he wrote in an email to La Presse. Canadian.

“Canadians will come as tourists to see and participate in the coronation, but I wouldn’t think the Canadian delegation would be more than 2,000 or 3,000.”

It’s hard for McNeish to predict how strong Canadian sales related to the King’s coronation will be or how they will compare to interest in memorabilia related to his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth took the throne in 1953, many watched the show on newly purchased televisions and commemorative keepsakes perhaps seemed inappropriate.

Since that time, television has lost its novelty with the advent of live streaming to any device and it’s rare that a big event isn’t turned into a marketing opportunity exploited for profit.

The Queen’s death sparked fond feelings for many who saw her as a grandmother figure.

The Queen remains the most popular royal figure with 80% of British respondents to the YouGov poll having a positive opinion of her.

She is followed by her daughter, Princess Anne, then her grandson William, Prince of Wales and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales.

King Charles is the fifth most popular royal with 55% of respondents saying they have a positive opinion of him.

The breakdown of his marriage to the late Princess Diana and the latter’s claims that the king’s second wife, Queen Consort Camilla, was to blame, spurred much of the public’s dislike of the king. His son, Prince Harry, who quit royal life with a bang blaming his family didn’t help either.

However, Mr. Hulme believes that consumers are sympathetic to the king.

“The majority of people are buying because they feel Charles has been put in such a bad light by Harry and [the Duchess of Sussex] Meghan. They feel they want to support him in some way. »

Little Taste of Home, a British and Irish store near Calgary had yet to receive its order of King Charles spoons, cups and plates in mid-April, and its customers had been asking when they would arrive for weeks.

“ It’s a lot of people who come from England who want to do what they can on this side of the ocean to celebrate his coronation”, explained an employee, Diane Dennis.

“Then there are a few people who collect things just because it happens once in a lifetime. »