How Harry and Meghan royal wedding souvenirs are helping rough sleepers

A range of royal wedding memorabilia has been launched in celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

But the plates, tea towels and gingerbread biscuits aren’t your bog-standard commemorative fodder. They’ve got a special purpose.

The souvenirs have been designed by a charity called the Windsor Homeless Project (WHP).

WHP has been working with Revolt Communications, an independent creative consultency.

Proceedings from the royal range will be donated to helping homeless people local to Windsor, where Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on May 19. Practical solutions to long-term aid will be sought by campaigners.

The idea comes after it emerged the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead had opted to ‘remove’ rough sleepers from the streets in the build up to the royal wedding.

The area is home to a large number of homeless people and in January, the Conservative council leader, Simon Dudley, said they show his "beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light".

Simon wrote to Thames Valley Police asking officers to clear the streets from "vagrants" ahead of May 19. The council leader claimed rough sleepers in Windsor had before been offered housing, but rejected support.

He said they were homeless by "voluntary choice" in a series of tweets.

Many criticised Simon’s comments, including homeless charities such as Crisis and Shelter. BuzzFeed News said people in the town told them the council had failed to provide enough shelter to help people find space off the streets.

Murphy James, a spokesman for the WHP, said in a statement: "Prince Harry and Meghan are both passionately committed to supporting those in need, including the UK’s homeless.

"By celebrating their special day with a hard-hitting message, For Richer, For Poorer really highlights the challenges our homeless communities face on a daily basis. Together we can make a difference to their lives."

The memorabilia is designed in the royal style, but offers a different context.

Windsor Castle and the wedding date are included, but so too are dogs, a bar of soap, and a tampon. Each symbolise some of the more important elements and challenges of rough sleeping.

"For richer, for poorer" – a traditional wedding vow – is inscribed on each piece. A decorative plate has been priced at £5,000, while postcards cost £10.

Help includes clean clothes, toiletry kits, as well as psychological support and interview preparation.

Thousands are expected to visit Windsor on the big day. Residents are charging thousands for visitors to rent rooms. Many more will watch on television.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, it’s estimated people will spend about £30 million on royal souvenirs.

Donate and purchase items here .

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