This PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON WEDDING COMMEMORATIVE COASTER - HEART MOTIF ON UNION JACK, is a very nice Royal Wedding commemorative item. It is inexpensive, and, though not from the "Official" Royal Wedding Commemorative Collection, certainly must have SOME sort of official approval, (or at least, no official disapproval), at having been made.
This coaster is about four inches square, with thoughtfullly rounded corners. The photograph on top is of a matte finish, so any spills on it should be mopped up promptly, otherwise, they will stay on thecoaster. This thin, paper picture is pasted on two layers, the top, darker and thicker layer appearing to be wood, bottom, lighter and thinner layer, definitely of lighter-coloured cork.
Yes -- this is a COASTER. And coasters, usually, are to put drinks or other messy items on, so that one's counter, and/or table, etc., does not get wet, or burned, or messed-up in other ways. Coasters sure do take a beating....usually. However, after buying this rather inexpensive item, the "test" begins. I'm not sure the creators of this coaster, ("The Coaster Company, Spring Lane South, Malvern, WR14 1AT, Handmade in Great Britain", as is given on the sticker at the back....telephone number and e-mail address are also given), actually intended this coaster to BE a "test" -- in all probabllity, they just wanted to make a good-looking coaster. And they have.
But -- Aha! When you receive this coaster, the test is: will you either:
1) Use it as a coaster, and thus risk ruining it over time? (this means you are an average person).
2) Will you hang it up on the wall and, surrounded by protective material, use this apprximately 4 inch square coaster as a dart-board? (This obviously means, with no doubt whatsoever, that, whereever you may live, you are an anti-royalist -- and an intense anti-royalist, at that). Or
3) Will you not use it at all, but simply put it away in a very good place for safe-keeping, and/or hang it in a place of honour on your wall? (Haning accessories are NOT included, but they can be purchased at any hardware store). Doing either of THESE things means you are a Royalist at heart -- and if you actually put the coaster away in a good place, and enclose it in a air-tight zip-lock bag, (taking it out every once in a while, so that it an get a little air, and not disintegrate from lack of air), you are an INTENSE royalist.
I guess the last description, ("intense royalist"), describes me -- because putting my coaster in a zip-lock bag, and thence into a good safe place, is what I intend to do with my own coaster.
A second reason for not using this particular ooaster, and saving it arefully, is this: The name 'KATE MIDDLETON', actually appears on this ooaster! Since her wedding, you see, the young woman previously known as "Kate Middleton" has officially ceased to exist. She is now, officially, 'PRINCESS CATHERINE, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE". This may SEEM a small thing -- but in the world of collectibles, it may prove to be a big thing. (I'm not really sure, because I'm not rich enough to fully indulge my desires to invest in the world of collectibles -- Royal Collectibles, especially -- but I do get a little knowledge, here and there, whenever I do peek at websites for collectors.) However -- it does seem to make eminent sense that ANYTHING with the name "Kate", or "Kate Middleton", should increase in value over time -- because, over time, more and more objects, (and books), will be made with the name "Princess Catherine" in them or on them, and NO MORE will be made with the name "Kate Middleton". Even things with the name "Catherine Middleton" will become rarer and rarer, as no one will make them any more, due to the fact of Ms. Middleton's official name change. This can only be compared with early objects and books which mention, "Princess Margaret Rose", on and in them. Because Princess Margaret was BORN with the name, "Princess Margaret Rose." But as she grew older, she decided she did not like the name "Rose" to be applied to her, and just dropped this second name. So, I imagine that celebratory mugs, coasters, books, etc., with the name "Princess Margaret Rose", emblazoned on them, should be of more value -- perhaps, even FAR more value -- than those with just the name "Princess Margaret" on them.
So, for $4.99 plus shipping, you have a coaster, a nice commemorative of the royal wedding, a test to see how royalist you really are, and a possible collector's item. Not a bad buy, I think! In fact -- quite a good one!