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March 29, 2011

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Potters prepare china to commemorate couple

BRITISH potters have their hands full making hand-gilded official china for Prince William's April 29 wedding to Kate Middleton.

The first ever Loving Cup commemorating the royal nuptials was made Wednesday at a factory in Staffordshire, England.

William and his bride-to-be approved the design of the fine bone china two-handled cup bearing the couple's entwined initials in gold and silver.

It also features William's coronet and the date of the wedding against a pale gray striped background with a pattern of doves, white ribbons and hearts.

Only 1,000 of the special edition tankards will be made and sold to the public for 125 pounds (US$200).

Each is decorated with several layers of burnished gold and platinum before a final layer of gilding is applied by hand in 22-carat gold.

The factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, is also creating a special tankard and pill box in honor of the marriage and says orders have skyrocketed since the announcement of the wedding.

Nuala McGourty, retail director for the Royal Collection, said the factory, which employs 40 people, had nearly quadrupled its output since it was appointed as one of the official potters for the wedding china.

Around 70,000 pieces had been made since the royal wedding china went on sale in December, she says.

The factory's operation director said "massive demand" for the china had pushed production to six days a week.

"We're a made-in-England company, which is very rare indeed in this area, so we're very proud of that to begin with," says Mike Deaville. "To have the connection with the royal collection gives us even more kudos. We're delighted."


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