Britain’s Queen Elizabeth looks on at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Science Park near Salisbury, Britain October 15, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
The new items on offer at the Royal Collection store come with hefty price tags, however, with the socks priced at ￡69 a pair.
The website gushes: ‘Lovingly crafted and 100 percent cashmere, these luxurious bedtime socks are sumptuously soft and the perfect present.’
And just in case the cable-knit socks, available in silver and ‘natural’ colors, are not warming enough, there are matching hot-water bottle covers, a snip at ￡115 – although that does include the rubber bottle itself.
In contrast, the George at Asda version is just ￡5.
With Royal palaces closed to visitors because of the pandemic, the Royal Collection’s online shop is the only way it can sell souvenirs – although those looking for cheap trinkets are likely to baulk at the eye-watering prices.
For instance, the Buckingham Palace Candle, noted for its ‘refreshing scent of delicate jasmine’ and whose design is said to be ‘inspired by the geometric planting of gardens of the French renaissance’, costs ￡115.
Among the cheaper items are a ￡12.95 Buckingham Palace ‘dog bandana’, and a timely range of face masks priced ￡9.95. Available in yellow, pink or blue, they are printed with a design inspired by a partridge eye pattern that features on an 18th Century porcelain collection amassed mostly by the extravagant George IV.
The masks were unveiled last November, just days after the Queen was pictured in a face covering for the first time, when she visited the grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of his burial.
Sales will boost the coffers of The Royal Collection Trust, the charity responsible for maintaining the artwork and furniture the Queen holds in trust for her heirs and the nation.
Its finances have been severely hit by the pandemic, with its latest annual report predicting a devastating ￡64 million drop in income by the end of the financial year.
It has secured an emergency loan of ￡22 million from Royal bankers Coutts but has warned that ‘significant’ cuts will be needed to balance the books.