You would have to be hiding in a very good hiding place with no access to media of any kind to miss the fact that today (21 April) marks the official 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning Monarch. #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty
However, today will not be the main focus of HRH’s celebrations this year. In May there will be a four-day fiesta akin to the pomp and ceremony we saw during the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. And in June the party peaks with the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Britain’s biggest-ever street party The Patron’s Lunch on The Mall which 10,000 people will attend. (The fact that the gig is being organised by the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and tickets cost 150 quid a head – even for charities – is another blog topic entirely!)
So, from the sublime to the ridiculous, here’s my round-up of what brands are doing to capitalise on this historic event (so far)…
FMCG super-brand Unilever has introduced limited edition packs across its Stork and Persil brands, while seven of its brands will carry the Royal Arms. Stork margarine tubs bear the Union flag; with the stork wearing a crown alongside a ‘happy 90th birthday’ message and ‘perfect for royal cakes’ strap line.
Stork has also released a recipe for Corgi Cake, modelled on Marks & Spencer’s infamous Colin the Caterpillar. Recipe here should you want to give it a go, although whether it is anywhere near as good as old faithful Colin remains to be seen.
As an animal lover, I particularly like this one (right). The Dog Treat Company (DTC) has introduced a new treat called God Save the Corgi. Even better, for every unit sold, DTC will dispatch a donation to Devon-based charity, Animals in Distress.
Heritage brand Lyle’s Golden Syrup has unveiled a limited edition tin featuring a ‘happy birthday your majesty’ message and a royal carriage design. A nice design, especially if you’re the type that collects this kind of stuff.
And an old stunt classic with pub company Marston’s launching a guest beer for the festivities, called ‘One is 90’, hopefully in a bid to make many happy returns… to the bar.
Supermarket retailer Asda is, wait for it, selling gnomes of the Queen and her corgis. Yes, that’s right, gnomes with the Queen’s face, dressed in regal attire. You can also get a guard in a bear skin hat. I won’t post a picture as they really are the stuff of nightmares. Available to purchase from 3 May, I think ‘off with their heads’ might not be such a bad idea.
And so, to my favourite… Drum roll Royal fanfare please… My favourite so far, and probably the most widely-reported ‘stunt’ because of its visual brilliance is Kwik Fit’s ‘Queen of Parts’(left).
Made entirely from car parts, the 3.5 metre sculpture of the Queen’s face, hair and jewellery will tour Kwik Fit centres around the country. It’s tasteful, original, and unlike the Asda gnome *grimace* bears a striking resemblance to Her Majesty – a woman portrayed so many times, but perhaps never in car parts. The initiative used professional photography and video to produce excellent, highly sharable, and almost majestic, content.
With far grander regal celebrations planned for June, time will tell what other brands will do to make the most of HRH’s 90th year.
As for Acceleris, we held a charity tea party in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research to celebrate.