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U.K. is marking Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee with parties, parades — and merch

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Today is the second of four days which the United Kingdom has reserved to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II and her 70 years on the throne - in other words, the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

There have already been parades and ceremonies, thousands of street parties are expected, and all of that has generated lots and lots of merchandise.

MAXIMILIAN SOMERSET: It was actually bespoke, made for me.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: How long ago did you get it?

SOMERSET: Oh, about three or four months ago. I got it specially for the occasion.

KELLY: Our London correspondent Frank Langfitt found Maximilian Somerset (ph) in a custom-made U.K. flag suit - with a color-changing waistcoat, obviously.

SOMERSET: I can change it red, white and blue, or the entire spectrum of the union jack.

CHANG: Anita Rider was also in the crowd, wearing a giant hair bow.

ANITA RIDER: And it's an absolutely gigantic, massive...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Union jack bow (laughter).

RIDER: ...Union jack bow - put Betty Boop's to shame. And my sister-in-law bought them from...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: ...The internet.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: Yeah. You can find a lot of Jubilee souvenirs online, ranging from a $2,500 music box to $50 leggings emblazoned with corgis.

CHANG: That's right. The queen's love for corgi dogs has inspired so much corgi merch, like corgi biscuits, corgi mousse cake, corgi pillows, corgi tea towels.

KELLY: Now, if corgis somehow are not your thing, there is also a limited-edition Queen Elizabeth II Barbie doll - if you can find it. It sold out within 3 seconds, according to British retailer John Lewis. Now, it's available on eBay for 300 bucks.

ANNE MIDDLETON: I'm from Wales, I'm from Cardiff - so anything with either a union jack or a dragon, and I've been buying it, so - we all have.

CHANG: Our London producer spoke to Anne Middleton, who has been snatching up memorabilia and has also sourced a Jubilee outfit, from a bespoke dress down to her nails.

MIDDLETON: That was hand-painted - a crown - by one of my - my hairdresser. I thought they did a brilliant job.

KELLY: The Platinum Jubilee continues through Sunday, and plenty more themed merchandise will change hands - and nails - through then.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Linah Mohammad
Prior to joining NPR in 2022, Mohammad was a producer on The Washington Post's daily flagship podcast Post Reports, where her work was recognized by multiple awards. She was honored with a Peabody award for her work on an episode on the life of George Floyd.