No royal knick-knacks thanks, we're Kiwis

ROYAL FAMILY: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.
ROYAL FAMILY: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.

Tacky royal collectibles are becoming relics of a bygone age, with Will and Kate's tour in April all but a souvenir-free zone.

When Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited New Zealand in 1953 fans could snap up anything from royal ashtrays to shot- glasses.

Even for the Queen's 1990 visit, one could find a wide range of silver spoons to mark the occasion.

A week out from the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge there is scant memorabilia, aside from New Zealand Post commemorative stamps and a coin.

For Angela Thompson, 68, of Thames, the lack of items to add to her Corogate Cafe's 3500-piece royal memorabilia collection is a great disappointment.

"Sadly there doesn't seem to be anything that New Zealanders produce," she said. "It's going to be a non-event everywhere in that respect."

Fairfax Media attempts to find royal-visit merchandise drew blanks.

A staff member in a leading Wellington department store said it no longer stocked such items. Nor did anyone else, it seemed.

Monarchy New Zealand chairman Sean Palmer said it was no great surprise, putting it down to Kiwi culture. Collecting items like teaspoons was a particularly British way of acknowledging the role of the monarchy, he said.

For New Zealanders it's all about going and seeing the royals for themselves and they're likely to "turn out en masse for that", he said.

NZ Post stamps boss Simon Allison thought the commemorative stamps and coin would be popular with casual collectors.

Fairfax Media