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U.K. ceramic maker rolls out souvenirs for King's May coronation

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STOKE-ON-TRENT, England -

With just five weeks before King Charles III's coronation, a British manufacturer of fine bone china is busy making "God Save The King" commemorative plates and mugs for the historic occasion.

Craftspeople at the Duchess China factory in the central England city of Stoke-on-Trent painted delicate gold edges on more teacups and saucers Thursday to make sure there are enough to meet the expected demand for royal souvenirs.

When Charles is crowned at London's Westminster Abbey on May 6, the ceremony will be the U.K.'s first coronation since his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was the subject of the same ritual just shy of 70 years earlier. He inherited the throne when Elizabeth died in September.

Duchess China started producing china tableware in 1888. Its range of commemorative china features the Union Jack colours of red, white and blue, and come emblazoned with the words "God Save the King."

The manufacturer said the design was inspired by china produced in the 1930s for the coronation of King George VI, Charles' grandfather.

"We've had (orders) as far afield as New Zealand and over the other side, America. It's really reassuring that the Royal Family are so well liked in all these different countries," Jason Simms, the company's managing director, said.

Simms said Duchess China has struggled in recent years, partly because of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes the coronation will restore some of the lustre by showcasing Britain's ceramics industry and skilled craftspeople.

"We are using this as a real chance to get across a great British product out into a public domain across the globe," he said.

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