• Explore the fascinating links between the Wedgwood brand and rulers from all corners and time periods of Europe.

Wedgwood and Royalty

  • by Carenza Price

Cigarette Jar Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II Coronation

Theme

This blue and white jasper jar was created to commemorate Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 and by this point Wedgwood was known for commemorative ware. For the coronation, many designs were produced, the most famous being Eric Ravilious' mugs that were created for the event. Wedgwood also made the plates for a Coronation banquet, decorated with the 'Golden Persephone' pattern and the Royal crest. Even lighters were given the Wedgwood touch, being cased in blue jasper with white reliefs of the Queen's head.

Elizabeth had connections to Wedgwood before the coronation as well. When she was 11 she became heir apparent to the British throne and a bust of her was issued to commemorate her father's coronation. More interestingly though, when Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten (later the Duke of Edinburgh) in 1947, their cake was made in Wedgwood blue and white Jasper style, mainly decorated with 'The Dancing Hours'. While the cake wasn't made by the Wedgwood company, they did produce several 4 inch jasper vases to sit on the cake. The cake had three teirs and ended up 6ft 2in high.

Elizabeth's ties with Wedgwood continued after her coronation, paying the factory a visit in 1955, accompanied by Prince Philip and Sir John Wedgwood and overseeing every step in production. In 1977, Wedgwood was again called on to commemorate the Queen, this time for her Silver Jubilee. Floral designs by Susie Cooper and a design incorporating an image of the Queen by Lord Snowdon were amongst those commisioned as part of the nationwide celebrations. 

The long lasting relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Wedgwood is symbolic of the length of her servitude to the country. As the longest reigning monarch of Great britain she has consistently associated herself with historic British companies, like Wedgwood, which only reinforces her image as head of the British establishment. 

Catalogue

An example of the many commemorative jasper pieces made by Wedgwood in the 20th century. This cigarette jar marks the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It is made of pale blue jasper decorated with white reliefs of Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.