NOSTALGIA: Made for Portsmouth – the royal souvenir beaker sold for 50p

The reverse of the mug displaying the citys crest.
The reverse of the mug displaying the citys crest.

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This souvenir beaker was one of 45,000 given to schoolchildren in Portsmouth during the coronation festivities for George V and Queen Mary on June 22, 1911.

More than a century later it appeared at a car boot sale for 50p.

The 1911 coronation beaker.

The 1911 coronation beaker.

Reader Simon Hart felt it had a story to tell beyond its status as a piece of inexpensive commemorative ware.

Simon writes: ‘George V is depicted in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet which he became in 1910.

‘It is fitting that Portsmouth’s souvenir beaker should include this portrait with its strong naval connections.

‘Queen Mary wears her “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” tiara in her portrait. This was a wedding gift in 1893.

The obelisk memorial to the men who died in HMS Victoria, in Victoria Park, Portsmouth.

The obelisk memorial to the men who died in HMS Victoria, in Victoria Park, Portsmouth.

‘The then Princess May of Teck requested any surplus money after this wedding gift had been purchased went to the fund to aid the widows and orphans of the men lost after the sinking of HMS Victoria.

‘Many of these widows and orphans lived in Portsmouth and an obelisk memorial is in Victoria Park to remember these lost lives.

‘This is a relevant item of jewellery to be worn by the Queen on the Portsmouth beaker.’

Simon adds: ‘The back shows the tradition for towns like Portsmouth of giving out crested china for important events.

George V is depicted in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet.

George V is depicted in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet.

‘From 1837 onwards there were numerous coronations and royal jubilees and I wonder if any readers have crested china in this tradition which they would share for your pages?’

Detail  of Queen Mary from the beaker.

Detail of Queen Mary from the beaker.

The all-powerful Royal Navy. With a line of ships that seems to go on forever, here we see the Mediterranean and Home Fleets at the Spithead Review of 1937. 
Picture: George Millener

The all-powerful Royal Navy. With a line of ships that seems to go on forever, here we see the Mediterranean and Home Fleets at the Spithead Review of 1937. Picture: George Millener