From Barbie dolls, to teacups, to plates, it is safe to say that every milestone in the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has been marked by a collectible. When the beloved queen’s platinum celebration was held earlier this summer, souvenir spending hit a new peek, with reports that celebrants spent about 281 million pounds ($236 million) on Queen Elizabeth “stuff.” Now, with the queen’s death, collectible spending will probably beat that number.

For many, the last week has been a scramble to dig out the plates and dust off QE II mugs. We even know someone who reached out to a distant friend who lives in England to see if she could send her a few pound notes with the Queen’s likeness — a souvenir before all money is switched to bear the likeness of the new monarch, King Charles III. It’s not just paper money that will be changing: Stamps, coins (all 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK have the Queen’s head on them!), royal seals and passports all are issued in the Queen’s name and with her likeness.

In addition to money and the other obvious daily items branded with Elizabeth II’s face and name, other items also have a stamp — called the Royal Warrant — that must be changed. For example, Heinz Ketchup sold in the UK has the Queen’s Warrant on its packaging. Other items with the Royal Warrant are tea and liquor. The Queen’s Warrant stamp shows the lion representing England, the unicorn representing Scotland and a shield divided into quarters. It has the words “By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.” Companies are given permission to display the symbol in exchange for providing goods or services to the Royal Household. However, the Warrant is void after the death of the grantor, in this case the Queen, but the company or individual may continue to use the Royal Arms in connection with the business for up to two years.

The bad news is that money and the other items — which will be valid and in circulation for years to come — and other mass-produced memorabilia will keep its face value rather than go higher, unless the collectible is rare, personally owned or autographed, or made with gold or silver. That doesn’t mean that the tea towels and plates aren’t valued. If they bring joy (our major rule for collections!), they are worth every penny.

Remembering the Queen’s long reign, her sense of humor, and steadfast life of service, here are a few Elizabeth II souvenirs from various decades of her reign.

Long Live the Queen!

Wedgwood Jasperware trinket box, Saxon Blue, cover with bust of Queen Elizabeth II in a partial wreath, banner with “1952 / Silver Jubilee / 1977,” 2 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in., $113.  Photo: Lion and Unicorn


queen elizabeth ii silver jubilee shell cameo gold brooch

Cameo pin with Queen Elizabeth II profile, shell, 9K gold rope twist and beaded frame, commemorates Silver Jubilee, hallmarks for Birmingham, 1977, 2 in., $155. Photo: Fellows & Sons Auctioneers & Valuers


queen elizabeth ii jubilee porcelain bust pitcher

Figural pitcher, “Her Majesty The Queen,” porcelain, gold painted crown, earrings and trim on handle, commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, 11 1/2 x 6 in., $46.  Photo: Cordier Auctions


Snuff box, Queen Elizabeth II

Oval snuff box, 9K gold, enameled lid with gilt profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II between the dates 1952 and 1977, “Faith And Truth I Will Bear Unto You” around the rim, royal insignia with crown and “ER” inside, commemorates Silver Jubilee, hallmark for Toye, Kenning & Spencer, Birmingham, 1977, original box, 2 1/4 in., $1,318.  Photo: Fellows & Sons Auctioneers & Valuers


toy miniature coronation coach royal family

Toy Coronation Coach, light gold, 8 white horses, 4 red-clad riders, limited edition of 450 made for Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee in 2002, box signed by L.C. Smith, co-founder of Lesney Products & Co. Ltd., $85.  Photo: Vectis Auctions Ltd.


queen elizabeth ii clarice cliff coronation cup saucer set

Clarice Cliff teacup & saucer, commemorates Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with her portrait and the date June 2nd, 1953, robin’s egg blue edges and gold trim, stamped “Clarice Cliff” and “Newport Pottery England, $50.  Photo: Connoisseur Auctions


queen elizabeth ii coronation royal doulton loving cup

Royal Doulton loving cup, commemorates Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with her portrait on front and portrait of Queen Elizabeth I on reverse, No. 758 in a limited edition of 1,000, Cecil J. Noke and Harry Fenton, Royal Doulton backstamp on bottom, 1953, 10 3/4 x 10 1/2 in., $375. Photo: Lion and Unicorn


barbie signature queen elizabeth ii platinum jubilee doll tribute collection

Queen Elizabeth II Barbie doll, commemorates the Platinum Jubilee, Barbie Signature Collection, Mattel, box and stand, $70.  Photo: Mattel


heinz tomato ketchup royal warrant

Heinz Tomato Ketchup, UK version, with the Royal Warrant coat of arms on a band at the top of the bottle.  Photo:



Leave a Reply

Featured Articles