16 May China Patterns Fit for a Princess
By: Sarah Foster
Wedding bells are ringing!!! The royal wedding is this Saturday, May 19th when Prince Harry will marry the stunning American silver-screen star and activist, Ms. Meghan Markle. Ever since Prince William wed Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on that perfect Saturday in April 2011, we’ve been counting the days until the next royal wedding. We’ve (slightly) obsessed over the details, and can’t wait to watch Ms. Markle float down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. As lovers of all things tabletop, we can’t forget about one of the dreamiest wedding details of all: their fine china.
To commemorate the marriage of Prince Henry and Meghan, the royal family commissioned a handmade limited-edition porcelain collection designed with many layers of symbolism and produced by methods that’ve remained unchanged for 250 years. The design includes a monogram surmounted by Prince Harry’s “coronet” (a simple crown worn by lesser royalty) tied together with delicate white ribbons. The intricate borders are inspired by the 13th century Gilebertus Door that will open this Saturday to reveal his breathtaking bride.
William Edwards Home has also created a limited-edition commemorative collection of fine bone china adorned with their initials, the coronet and the national emblems of the United Kingdom; rose, thistle, shamrock and daffodil.
Additionally, Royal Crown Derby has come out with a commemorative pattern featuring the couple’s initials, the coronet and a border design of acorns representing the House of Windsor and longevity, Tudor roses signifying the royal badge of England as well as the national flower of England. To purchase a piece for yourself visit www.sashanicholas.com (our very favorite online resource for all things registry and tabletop).
Of course, this isn’t the first collection of commemorative royal china produced. In 2011 William Edwards Home released a collection to honor the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s nuptials. Like Harry and Meghan’s collection, each piece bears William and Catherine’s entwined initials and is surmounted by their wedding date and Prince William’s coronet. The pattern is adorned with white ribbons and doves carrying wedding rings in silver and gold and is set against a pale-grey background.
Royal weddings have been honored for decades in porcelain patterns. Royal Crown Derby created the pattern below to honor the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981.
In celebration of the 70th wedding anniversary of reigning Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patterns were commissioned by Buckingham Palace itself as well as Royal Crown Derby. Buckingham Palace’s design is inspired by the elaborate gilded carving of the thrones in its Throne Room and the Royal Crown Derby pattern is adapted from one originally presented to the couple in 1947 featuring pink floral designs taken from her wedding dress and cake.
The revered Hungarian china house, Herend, has served the British royal family for centuries. Queen Victoria’s 1851 purchase at the first World’s Fair in London of a large Herend set for Windsor Castle put Herend on the map, setting the stage for aristocrats throughout Europe to clamor for the china in their estates. The pattern she purchased was therafter named “Queen Victoria” in her honor, and is still one of the most treasured Herend patterns today. In fact, two of the #clochegirls chose this pattern for our own wedding china!
On the eve of Prince William and Kate’s wedding, Herend presented “Royal Garden” dinnerware as the country’s official gift to the royal couple. Created specifically for the couple, the design is a modern interpretation of the “Queen Victoria” pattern, which celebrated its 160th anniversary in 2011.
And who can resist china to celebrate the birth of William and Kate’s third baby, Prince Louis?! The lion and unicorn featured in a pattern commissioned by the royal family are baby versions of the traditional heraldic supporters in the Duke and Duchess’ coat of arms. Royal Crown Derby’s Royal Commemoratives also released an adorable “Five Petal Tray” featuring a princely coronet positioned above the initial L in 22 carat gold.
While they’re not technically British royalty, the Granthams of Downton Abbey will forever be royal to us and several patterns that are still popular today are featured in the show. Lady Cora’s breakfast service is Herend’s “Chinese Bouquet” in rust and the family often dines upon Spode’s Stafford White. Lady Violet takes her afternoon tea over Mason’s “Blue Mandalay” pattern.
Selecting china has been an important wedding registry tradition for centuries. Prince Harry and Meghan, we know your future will be filled with a lifetime of love shared over your pattern, making memories with loved ones every day of your lives! May you live happily ever after, cheers!