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Memorabilia of England's royal couple now available

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POSTED: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 4:09am

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 4:10am

LONDON (AP) -- A William and Catherine monogram mug? A pair of hand-crafted swan paperweights? A dainty wedding bell, perhaps?  With the array of romantic memorabilia flooding the market, royal fans worldwide don't have to wait till next year to celebrate Prince William's wedding.

Almost as soon as the prince announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton, souvenir shops and chinaware producers have been inundated with order requests for special edition mugs, plates and assorted collectibles.  In a generally bleak retail landscape, British businesses have high hopes the wedding can bring in some badly needed cash.

"We've taken masses of pre-sales orders, and people have actually placed orders on items that they can't even see pictures of because they're not available yet," said Stephen Church, whose family has been selling collectibles from a shop in England's Northampton for over 100 years.

It's a retail fever that has gripped people from all corners of the world.  There is strong interest from collectors in the U.S. and other countries with no royals, Church said. As for Britons - especially those living overseas - owning royal memorabilia could be a way to connect with their country and display patriotism.

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