As the Queen of England prepares to celebrate her 60 years on the British throne, her new granddaughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, will be by her side.
Middleton’s family, however, will be on the other side of things, showing the Queen’s loyal subjects how they can celebrate her Diamond Jubilee on the cheap, perhaps for $60 or less.
Middleton’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, have created an entire line of Jubilee-related party supplies through their online party supply company, Party Pieces.
“It’s a year for celebrations, and right at the top of the list is the Diamond Jubilee which will center around a long weekend on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of June!” the Party Pieces website reads.
Fans of the 85-year-old queen who can’t travel to London for the celebratory weekend, including a reported Spice Girls reunion concert, can instead purchase a “British Street Party Ultimate Party Kit” or a “Union Jack Essential Party Kit” from the Middleton’s store.
Carole Middleton, a former flight attendant, created Party Pieces in 1987 and her husband, a former British Airways flight dispatcher, now helps to run it.
Kate, the duchess of Cambridge, helped her family with the company until her wedding to Prince William last April. Her younger sister, Pippa, edits and contributes to the company’s Party Times online newsletter.
An article in last month’s newsletter titled “Money-Saving Party Tips” singled out the Jubilee as a great chance to party and save at the same time.
“It’s the beginning of the year and people’s minds are filled with bargains; January sales are everywhere with deals galore. Why should planning for a party be any different? Whether it’s an imminent family birthday or a gathering to celebrate the Olympics or the Jubilee later in 2012 we offer a few ideas to help keep costs down and still throw a memorable party,” the article opens.
The article suggests investing in a few staple party items “that you can use again and again, such as plastic serving trays, dishes and cake stands,” while linking back to the products on their own site.
The cross-promotion by the Middletons to their royal extended family has raised some eyebrows in sensible England.
“There is an extremely fine line between being the family of a future queen and being seen to cash in on that royal status,” Duncan Larcombe, royal editor for The Sun and an ABC News contributor, told “Good Morning America.”
“In Britain we tend not to particularly like people that have done well,” he said.
Last November Pippa Middleton, 28, reportedly struck a £400,000 ($622,000) deal with U.K. publisher Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin, to write a book said to be titled, “How to Be the Perfect Party Hostess.”
It was reported at the time that plans are for a Christmas 2012 release, in part to avoid any conflict with the queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June.