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Cumbrian artist says her royal wedding sick bags are 'light-hearted fun'

As royal memorabilia goes, some may not think they sit naturally alongside commemorative cups and plates.

But sick bags created by a Cumbrian artist as a souvenir to Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton this spring are proving an international hit.

Lydia Leith, 24, has designed the novelty bags and she’s luring buyers from as far away as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and across Europe.

She insists her creation is not intended as a protest against the royal wedding – and hopes people will not actually be sick in them.

The former Carlisle Institute of the Arts student said: “I quite like the royal family. I like royal memorabilia and collect that type of thing.

“This isn’t anything against them. It’s just a bit of light-hearted fun.

“I don’t want anyone to use them (to be sick in). I think people will want to collect them. There are some who want a collection of everything.”

What started as a joking conversation around the table at the home of Lydia’s parents Paul and Tina, in Stanwix, Carlisle, has turned into big business after hitting the headlines.

The bags – available in either red or blue – can be bought from Lydia’s website – www.lydialeith.com – for £3 each.

They feature the words “throne up” and come with the message “keep this handy on April 29th 2011”.

Lydia, who grew up in Appleby and gained a diploma at the Carlisle art college before going to study for a degree in visual communication and graphic design at Edinburgh College of Art, is now based in Newcastle.

She has been surprised by the response to her creation.

She said: “I was sitting around the dinner table with my parents. We were joking and talking about sick bags for Valentine’s Day. It was quite near Valentine’s Day then, so I thought it probably wouldn’t happen for that.

“Then I remembered about the royal wedding and decided to do something with that. I knew I could do it because I had done screen printing before.”

The first batch of 260 bags sold out and Lydia is now working her way through orders for hundreds more.

She hit the headlines after her work was picked up on by the graphics industry trade press.

“I never thought this would happen,” the designer said. “I normally just sell things to friends, family and a couple of small shops that sometimes stock my greetings cards. I just expected to sell about 30.”

Lydia’s main line of work is creating greetings card, but she also does other design, illustration and screen printing work.


Have your say

Nice one Sheena tell it like it is

Posted by brian hyde on 8 March 2011 at 20:53

PS Am sending this article to my American Royal loving friend, only one loves these people out of the many people I know in the States! It will be interesting to hear her reaction, though I know my other US friends will love this as they feel the monarchy is sooo outdated!

My lovely but sad US Royal loving friend was one of apparently, only a few people who went to meet Charles and Camilla at Independance Hall on their visit to Philadelphia a year or so ago. All of the others I know (and love) there stayed away.

Posted by Sheena too on 7 March 2011 at 14:48

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