Aisling Grace, PA
Tue, 2 May 2023 at 2:45 am BST
A family-run attraction with thousands of items of royal family memorabilia has said it is “going all out” to celebrate the King’s coronation.
The Royal Room at the Jeyes of Earls Barton cafe in Northamptonshire, which displays donated royal memorabilia and items from the Jeyes family’s personal collection, has curated a special exhibition dedicated to Charles and will be hosting a valuation day with auctioneer and TV personality Charles Hanson.
The attraction has been running since 2012 and includes royal objects such as a Prince of Wales lemon squeezer, a corkscrew illustrated with a portrait of the late Queen, and a copy of King Edward’s 1936 proclamation.
Grandmother Marie Taylor, a “big royalist”, started collecting memorabilia decades ago and passed her passion to her daughter Georgina Jeyes, 73, and granddaughters Pip Jeyes, 49, and Anna Jeyes-Hulme, 39, who continued accumulating memorabilia before transforming the collection into a visitors’ attraction.
After coronation day on May 6, the family is going to start a memory book for visitors to the Royal Room to write down how they chose to celebrate the event.
“We might do that for about a year and then we’re going to send it to the Buckingham Palace archives for them to keep,” Pip Jeyes said.
The Book of Memory is inspired by the book of condolences signed by visitors to the attraction in the weeks after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, which drew “tourists from all over the country”, Ms Jeyes said.
At the back of the Royal Room, the family has curated a display showing images and objects illustrating the life of Charles, including his childhood, early days as Prince of Wales, relationships and his current life.
Several items commemorate Charles’s investiture, the ceremony held to formally present the title of Prince of Wales to the then-20-year-old in July 1969.
Ms Taylor, who died in 2013, passed down a plate commemorating the investiture, which features a portrait of Charles surrounded by the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales as well as the Welsh symbol of the daffodil.
Among the more unusual items is a Prince of Wales lemon squeezer, bearing a commemorative inscription and an illustration of a Welsh dragon in front of a castle.
The lemon squeezer is shaped like a teapot, complete with a handle and spout so the lemon juice can be poured.
“That’s very wacky, I have to say,” Ms Jeyes said.
Displayed on a wall is a selection of copies of watercolours painted by Charles, showing the royal residences at Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor and the Castle of Mey.
The family owns a book about Charles’s watercolours, with a foreword written by the Queen Mother, which allows visitors to learn more about the King’s artwork.
Objects related to King George and the late Queen’s coronations are given dedicated sections in the Royal Room.
A small box of matches and a corkscrew, both illustrated with portraits of the late Queen, are among the trinkets made to mark her 1953 coronation.
Georgina Jeyes’s favourite object in the collection is a white orb replicating the Sovereign’s Orb held by the new monarch on their coronation day, which Pip Jeyes believes was given to her grandmother by a friend.
The attraction is also home to a “very special” item, Ms Jeyes said – a copy of the 1936 proclamation of King Edward donated by the head of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum.
Anna Jeyes-Hulme said: “He kept it in his family and then he wanted it kept in a collection so he donated it to us.”
The valuation day involves auctioneer Hanson, best known for his appearances on TV’s Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip.
Members of the public are invited to bring any royal memorabilia they own, “big or small, the more unusual the better”, for him to value, Ms Jeyes-Hulme said.
On the royal family, Pip Jeyes said they are “such an important part of this country’s tapestry and history” and the Jeyes family is eager to mark the coronation of a new monarch.
“This isn’t going to happen again, hopefully, for a long, long time, so we’ve got to celebrate it,” she said.
“It’s massive for the country and for us, so let’s just go for it.”