Wedding Madness! The IoS royal fever awards
Britain is now awash with bids to exploit the marriage of Wills and Kate. These are desperate efforts to enthuse the public, and such ingenuity should not go unrecognised. We celebrate the most ridiculous candidates
The Worst Royal Money-Making Scheme (sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland)
The finders of a blotchy yellow jellybean with a doubtful resemblance to Kate Middleton's face are hoping to fetch £500 for the bean when they put it on eBay. Runner up: Wearable replicas of Kate Middleton's engagement dress are expensive enough, but now doll-sized ones have sold for more than £60 on the site.
The Sylvie Krin Award for Royal Biography
One book stood out: Robert Jobson's William and Kate: The Love Story, a volume that seems to be more of a stomach, than a page, turner. Life's too short to have actually read it, but this, quoted in reviews, is apparently typical: "But every time the power of love, like a magnet, had pulled them back to each other." Max Beerbohm could not have put it better.
Feeblest Bid for Royal Wedding Controversy
The Polish Eagle Club, Nottingham, for promoting a gig by soul band Sticky Morales with a poster which has the words "Will an' Kate" with four of the letters in capitals so that they spell a well-known offensive word. The bid for controversy failed, as the "furore" failed to migrate beyond the pages of the Nottingham Evening Post.
Most Gratuitous Newspaper Reader Offer
The Scottish Daily Express's "Replica Royal Engagement Ring" offer, featuring a "rhodium-plated band and setting" containing a "large sapphire-coloured zircon oval stone surrounded by 20 cubic zirconia stones", and "presented in a draw-string gift pouch". According to the blurb, this constitutes an "inspired replica".
Least Educational Royal Themed Toy
Sylvanian Families, the animal model company, has released a bunny rabbit royal wedding special. The rabbits to be betrothed – William Balmoral and Catherine Chocolate – come in full costume.
Runner-up The "official" Princess Catherine doll looks much like any other Sindy or Barbie and sets you back £35. Girls can even buy their own Disney royal wedding dress for £60.
Most Gratuitous Use of the Royal Wedding to Sell a Magazine in an Overseas Market
The US magazine Star, which, in a cover story entitled "Pregnant Bride!", tried to float the uncheckable rumour that Ms Middleton would be going to the altar in what the Victorians called "an interesting condition". No one, however, has taken this any more seriously than the Star's previous revelation, in June 2010, that Kate was pregnant.
Biggest Royal Wedding Coincidence
The British Army, for yesterday announcing that Prince Harry is to be promoted to captain, after five years' service. Who would have thought he would have risen so high in the ranks? He now reaches a pay band of between £37,916 to just over £45,000. Amazingly, his promotion comes just a week or so before he is best man at his brother's wedding. Remarkable.
Most Arcane Piece of Genealogical Information Concerning Kate Middleton
The family tree of the bride-to-be has been relentlessly combed for interest, and finally it was found when the Daily Mail reported that Ms Middleton's second cousin once removed is one Katrina Darling, a burlesque dancer from Sunderland. The finale of her act consists of Ms Darling sporting red nipple tassels and a mini-thong.
Most Extras in a Royal Wedding Broadcast
The BBC, ever-fearful that it will get a Daily Mail monstering if it doesn't tug the forelock with sufficient enthusiasm, will be sending no fewer than 550 staff to cover the Royal Wedding, more than three times that of commercial rival Sky.
Most Useful Royal Wedding Branded Sanitary Accessory
If you really want to show your regard for the day, you can also get Royal Wedding toilet paper and loo seat covers (£9.99). But, if the whole Royal Wedding faux hysteria makes you want to vomit, the must-have product is the special souvenir sick bags, designed by artist Lydia Leith, which carry the slogan "Throne Up".
Most Appropriately Named Actor in a Naff Royal Exploitation Movie
And the winner is... Nico Evers Swindell, the man playing Prince William in the US-made William and Kate: The Movie. He bears about as much resemblance to the young royal as Wayne Rooney does.
Oxfam Shop Award for Useless Royal Tat
Surely every garden needs a pair of commemorative B&Q Royal Wedding gnomes? They come complete with Union Flag pointy hats and full wedding outfits and with a long white beard for Prince William. Alternatively, there is the William and Kate Paper Dolls book, from Dover Publications, featuring cardboard cut-outs of the semi-naked royal couple grinning in their undies and ready to have seven different costumes pinned on them.
Best Attempt to Turn Rowan Williams into a Soft Toy
Fiona Goble's Knit Your Own Royal Wedding, a comprehensive guide to producing your own little woollen models of the characters who will star at Westminster Abbey. It includes instructions on how to knit a Dr Rowan Williams, perhaps the first time that an Archbishop of Canterbury has been turned into a cuddly toy. But perhaps not the last.
Most Spurious Use of the Royal Wedding in a Press Release
"Was Prince William a frog in a past life?" asked Save the Frogs in a recent press release. It continued: "Quite possibly, since he chose his wedding to take place on the 3rd Annual Save the Frogs Day, a worldwide celebration of amphibians also scheduled for 29 April."
Best Use of the Royal Couple's Images on an Encoded Travel Pass
From Thursday, lucky Londoners (read gullible tourists) will be able to buy a commemorative "limited edition" Oyster card bearing a portrait of William and Kate. The travel card is so limited that Transport for London is making 750,000 of them.
The Cheech and Chong Award for Execrable Movie Making
William and Kate: The Movie went straight to DVD in time for the royal nuptials. Its attention to detail has staggered fans, from Highland grouse shooting filmed on location in Los Angeles, to London buses seen driving on the right. Classic lines include the romantic "Kate's hot" and the Mills & Boon-esque: "I'm the girl he hangs out with, not the girl he brings home."
Least Appetising Use of Cake in a Royal Wedding Context
New standards in desperation are being set at an exhibit on royal wedding cakes. "Let Them Eat Cake" has arrived next to Hyde Park, giving an edible history of royal wedding cakes from William the Conqueror to William Wales. It is (of course) sponsored by Tate & Lyle Royal Icing Sugar.
Most Useful Accessory for Couple Playing Brides and Grooms
Crown Jewels have made their own commemorative condoms, carrying the happy couple's faces and the slogan "Lie back and think of England". If the packaging itself weren't enough of a prophylactic, apparently they are being made to be "The strength of a Prince".
The Captain Darling Award for Unquestioning Loyalty
This goes to the newspaper devoting the most stories to the royal wedding in the month of April. Counting the items that made the Lexis-Nexis database, the Morning Star utterly failed on this count, notching a mere four, and The Independent (15) lagged far behind The Guardian (54). But in first place, defeating the massed forces of the tabloid press, was The Daily Telegraph with 131.
And finally, the Enduring Sanity Award
Goes to the Great British Public, for resisting all this nonsense and carrying on as normal. According to a survey of 1,405 adults conducted last week, only a third of us are even remotely interested in the royal wedding, and 22 per cent are already positively sick of hearing about it.
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