Mugs celebrate royal baby news
A commemorative mug celebrating the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's happy news has gone into production - less than 24 hours after the official announcement by St James's Palace.
High-end pottery company Emma Bridgewater, which hand-makes all its products at its Victorian factory in Stoke-on-Trent, has yet to confirm a release date for the items out of respect for the royal couple.
But the manufacturer confirmed that sample products had already been drawn up and the first batch was heading for the kiln.
Designed by managing director Emma Bridgewater and her husband, Matthew Rice, the half-pint mug bears red and blue hearts in the firm's signature sponged technique. Finished with the words "A Royal Baby in 2013" on one side and "Hooray for Will & Kate" on the other, the commemorative pieces will cost £19.95.
The company, based in Lichfield Street, Hanley, said the souvenirs would continue a two-century-old tradition of manufacturing royal memorabilia and commemorative wares in the local area.
Emma Bridgewater, a family business which has 225 employees, is renowned for its traditionally English designs.
Mark Thomas, its head of manufacturing, said the new mugs would give a further boost to interest in goods manufactured in Britain. he said: "Emma and Matthew are very strong royalists and over the last 26 years we've supported every royal event."
Mr Thomas told BBC Midlands Today: "It's just such a wonderful time for everybody - not only the royal couple - following the Jubilee and all the great events of the last two years. There's a great feeling about anything British - totally British."
Ms Bridgewater, who founded the firm in 1985, said: "I think we have been quite quick off the mark with this one. I'm sure it will be followed by another mug bearing the Royal baby's name next year.
"Matthew and I are unabashed royalists and were delighted to welcome both the Prince of Wales and Duke of York to our factory last year. These mugs are a treat to make."