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Asda First to Offer Royal Wedding Merchandise

The recently announced engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton is being welcomed as good news for the British psyche and for the British manufacturing industry, particularly the potteries.As the news has been expected for some time, key players in

The recently announced engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton is being welcomed as good news for the British psyche and for the British manufacturing industry, particularly the potteries.

As the news has been expected for some time, key players in the souvenir bonanza have been preparing in advance and some products are getting to market very quickly.

Asda has already launched a souvenir mug on its website for £5 ($8). It will be in stores by the end of the week. Aynsley China has said it began manufacturing a line of fine bone china pieces after Tuesday's announcement, with the first expected to arrive in stores early in the new year.

"We have had the designs prepared for some time and have been waiting for an announcement," says John Wallis, sales director of Aynsley China.

Details of products from the Royal Mint, Royal Mail and Royal Crown Derby are also expected soon. Woolworths commissioned 20 items commemorating William and Kate in 2006, shortly before the couple's brief split.

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