Spilladay: 7 days with the Royals

Words & photography by Aelana Curran


I was 9 when the frenzy of the Charles & Diana Royal Wedding took over. I made my father triple check my analog alarm so that I would wake up to watch the wedding start to finish. My mother had bought me one special hardcover book that chronicled their story. I still have it. I was royal obsessed.

Fast forward to a few years ago. While prop shopping for a photo shoot in Brooklyn, I came across a commemorative mug from 1981. Since then I have inadvertently started a Royal Mug Collection (old and new) with a few general London mugs to round out the collection, usually to commemorate a personal trip or event.

#Spilladay took shape thanks to messy accidents and recording my morning ‘Cafecitos’ through Instagram. Everyday, I tell myself that I will not spill. My morning coffee ritual would not be the same without either of them.

Day 1: 31 May, 2013

Charles & Diana Wedding Mug, 1981

Source: Arcopal, France; Saucer: Noritake, Japan. Goldston Pattern

Found on Bacon Street off Brick Lane, Easter weekend, under a poodle painting. I got so excited that my contact fell out.


Day 2: 1 June, 2013
7:01 am

Charles & Diana Wedding Mug, 1981

Source Kiln Craft Tableware, England; Saucer: Noritake, Japan. Goldston Pattern

Found in Los Angeles thrift shop on La Cienega Drive during Christmas 2011. It wasn’t for sale and was holding the shop owner’s coins at the till. I begged and bartered with her, then watched (with complete joy) her dump out all of the coins onto the glass counter.


Day 3: 2 June 2013
8:02 am

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Mug, 2012; Saucer: Noritake, Japan. Goldston Pattern Source: McLaggan Smith Mugs, England

I came over for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last June. It was so festive and crowded I forgot to buy a mug along the way. I ended up buying this mug at Heathrow on my way back to NYC. Security questioned me on the mug, but not the bottle of hand lotion I forgot to put in the airline approved clear bag.


Day 4: 3 June 2013

Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Mug, 1977

Source: Unknown, England

Easter weekend, outdoor market just off Brick Lane. Wandered in with friends after the Goat Race to a seller with fabulously overpriced and dirty items. Fortunately my friend saw this first and bought for me


Day 5: 4 June, 2013

Charles & Diana, 1981

Source: Hammersley, England; Saucer: Maddock, England. Tally-Ho Pattern.

Found in British owned food shop in the West Village, NYC. Was in buying bunting and Union Jacks for a photo shoot and squealed when I saw it. The lady just stared at me and asked if I wanted a meat pie. I didn’t, but bought one and the mug, of course.


Day 6: 5 June, 2013

Charles & Diana Mug, 1981

Source: Unknown, England; Saucer: Fukugawa, Japan. Arita Pattern.

This was my first mug found in the Williamsburg, Brooklyn thrift store name Junk, 2010. It sat there amongst some strange tomato and lettuce salt and pepper shakers. There was a lady wearing a trenchcoat next to me eyeing it as well. I grabbed it and ran. It is my favorite mug portrait of the Royals.


Day 7: 6 June, 2013

London Mug, ca. 1970
Source: Kiln Craft, England; Saucer: Mikasa Duplex by Ben Seibel, Japan.

The lone London mug in the collection of Royals—found in a thrift store in Brooklyn. High on a shelf, I passed ‘London’ by thinking ‘Aelana don’t become that crazy lady that collects mugs and has a cat.’ Then became distracted when I saw a very odd fireman’s mug from a town where I grew up. Left the shop and came back a day later in a complete panic hoping that London mug was still there. It was (obviously). My face beaming as I walked out. I didn’t even ask them to wrap it, carrying it down the street proudly to the car.


Spilladay: 7 days with the Royals was created by Food&_ community member:

Aelana Curran

Aelana Curran

Stylist & Photographer