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article imageRoyal Jubilee sick bag, anyone? Or the Queen’s face all a-wobble? Special

By Andrew John     Mar 23, 2012 in Odd News
The British artist who offered those nauseated by last year’s royal wedding a convenient place to upload the symptoms of their nausea has now produced a similar product for the UK monarch’s diamond jubilee.
It’s another sick bag, and it comes from Lydia Leith, an artist based in Carlisle in northwest England.
But that’s not all: there are jelly moulds, and even a YouTube video called “Jubilee Jelly Wobble Test” (which is atop this report for those partial to a bit of facial wobbling). She’s also brought out a series of temporary tattoos with the jubilee theme.
Last year, Lydia Leith mischievously produced a Royal Wedding Sick Bag to commemorate – in a manner probably not approved by Buckingham Palace – the nuptials of Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne, and Kate Middleton on April 29. The bags had the slogan “Throne Up”. This time, the slogan is “Bling it Up”.
The Royal Wedding Sick Bags were part of a limited edition, which made Leith counsel against actually upchucking into one of them.
“I think they will. But I don’t really like the idea of that!” she told me at the time. However, she added: “I think it will be inevitable. I think there’ll be some horrible videos on YouTube afterwards. But the idea is that they’re kept as a piece of artwork. They’re all individually signed by me, so I think you’d be a bit silly to be sick in them, because they may go up in price as a collectible.”
And this may be the case with the jubilee variety.
“I think I will possibly be bringing out a limited-edition version of the sick bags and maybe a signed mould,” she told me today. “But I am only at the early stages of this project so I am not entirely sure what will happen yet. I have
Diamond jubilee temporary tattoos produced by Lydia Leith
Diamond jubilee temporary tattoos produced by Lydia Leith
Photo: Lydia Leith
had a few good wholesale orders from some of the coolest shops on Oxford Street so watch this space!”
Not all the responses to her wedding sick bags were positive. “I had an small handful of negative email, they said things like, ‘You should be dragged around the streets of London’. But even some of the world’s number-one terrorists don’t get treated like that nowadays, so I though that one was funny.”
A number of enquirers, though, asked whether she was going to do a version for this year’s diamond jubilee or the Olympics, which are being held this summer in London?
“I initially thought no, but then the ‘Bling it Up’ pun popped into my head and as so many people kept asking I thought, Why not?”
Of her jubilee products, she says she’s most excited about the jelly mould. “It’s the first time I have made a 3D product; I think it could be very popular. So far the response has been very good and I’m pleased the jelly wobble test YouTube video has been making people laugh.
“I think the kinds of people who bought the royal-wedding sick bags last year were a mix of royalists, anti-royalists, journalists, people
Suffering for her art? Artist Lydia Leith covered in temporary tattoos. “I want to get a photo of ...
Suffering for her art? Artist Lydia Leith covered in temporary tattoos. “I want to get a photo of me wearing the Queen tattoos but I only have the one of me wearing the sports tattoos at the moment,” she says.
Photo: Lydia Leith
having bank holiday parties, sick-bag collectors, punks, art collectors – basically, people from all walks of life with three pounds to spare and a sense of humour.”
Leith is not saying just how much or how little of a royalist she is, but she admits that the very existence of the British royal family and last year’s wedding have been a great help to her business.
“I was 24 years old with a part-time job at a cinema when I first printed my Royal Wedding Sick Bags. I didn’t expect to sell any. I just made them to entertain myself because I love designing and printing and it was a fun idea.
“When my sick bags got seen online, they became an overnight hit. Next thing I knew they were in every big newspaper across the world, trending on Twitter, and I was selling thousands. I was thrown in the deep end and suddenly I was running a business.
“For three months solid I was replying to press emails, signing sick bags and taking boxes of orders/envelopes to my local post office. I was so busy I couldn’t take one day off. I had to get my parents and next-door neighbours
The “Stuff the jubilee!” badge from Britain’s Coalition of Resistance
The “Stuff the jubilee!” badge from Britain’s Coalition of Resistance
Coalition of Resistance website
to help me, too. it was good fun. I don’t have an exact number as to how many I sold but it was approximately ten thousand, and I hand-signed each one.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Resistance – a UK campaign against the Con–Dem coalition government’s welfare cuts and wholesale privatisation – has also produced a jubilee memento: a badge saying, unequivocally, “Stuff the jubilee! No cuts.” It’ll knock you back a princely 80 pence.
Queen Elizabeth II (86) ascended the throne in February 1952 on the death of her father, George VI, although the coronation was not till June 1953.
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