Plates, teaspoons, mugs and anything with pictures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are flying off the shelves in Los Angeles as the city’s own California girl prepares to marry into Britain’s royal family.
At Ye Olde Kings Head gift shop, next to a traditional British pub in the beach city of Santa Monica, demand for memorabilia has far exceeded expectations.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable,” said store manager Dympna Madeley, who moved to California from the English manufacturing town of Luton 23 years ago.
“We brought stuff in and thought we might not sell it, you know, and it was gone in the first week. We were like ‘oh my God,’ so we bought more, then we bought more. It’s like amazing … really overwhelming,” she said.
Madeley said British and Americans alike were snapping up souvenirs ahead of the May 19 wedding in England.
In the small store, life size cardboard cut-outs of Markle and Harry stand amid Union Jack flags, commemorative plates and teacups.
Royal-themed teaspoons, coasters, key rings and shopping bags are displayed among British favorites like Marmite, PG Tips tea bags and Cadbury chocolate.
Markle’s California connections have added to the fascination – she was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Holly Gottlieb, 28, a recent transplant from London, said, “My colleagues are all American. They love it way more than I.”