Royal mugs are a time-honoured tradition in Britain, while the White House has sold memorabilia for decades.
Now France is getting in on the act, with the Elysee Palace offering presidential mugs and key rings for sale for the first time.
The foray into trinket-selling was authorised by President Emmanuel Macron, whose portrait adorns a poster costing €9.90 ($11.60), one of a host of items on offer to collectors, Macron fans, tourists and anyone else who is short of gift ideas.
The online boutique (https://boutique.elysee.fr) includes t-shirts, watches, notebooks, bags and pens, some with prices that might make buyers pause: a blue t-shirt with the word “president” embroidered on the breast costs €55.
The decision to exploit the presidential brand commercially was taken months ago but the actual launch comes at a time when the 40-year-old leader’s approval rating has skidded to as low as 23%, below that of his predecessors at similar points in their mandates.
It is not clear whether his portrait on posters and mugs will be positively received by voters; many of his critics accuse him of catering excessively to the rich and ruling with a top-down style more fitting of monarchs.
France has traditionally taken a reserved approach to retail and marketing around the president, with Macron saying after his election that he intended to reestablish the high status of the office.
Some of the items on offer are very much for everyday use, including a key ring with a little red, white and blue etiquette (€29), a Macron portrait mug (€24.90) and a cloth shopping bag with ELYSEE emblazoned on the side (€15).
The highest-priced items are 14k gold-filled bracelets with a choice of “liberte”, “egalite” or “fraternite” spelled out on them, the words of the national motto.
They cost €250.
All the items are made in France, according to the website, with part of profits from the sale to be used to help fund the maintenance of the 300-year-old Elysee Palace.
As well as traditional souvenirs like memorial coins and flags, France would not be France without a typically French food item being offered, one that plays off Macron’s name.
For €19.50, the peckish can pick up a box of seven red, white and blue macarons, the sweet meringue-based treats that bakers have turned into a mini-delicacy.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
William ‘turned to Philip for advice on Harry split’
Govt warns it might not hold pivotal Brexit vote
British lawmaker: Third vote on May's Brexit deal not a sure thing
Stores looted, bank torched in fresh ‘yellow vest’ strife
Third oil slick discovered after cargo ship sinks off French coast
Football-mad French parents barred from naming baby 'Griezmann Mbappe'
UK Conservative lawmaker Boles quits local party over Brexit
Yellow vest 'ultimatum' rally turns violent in Paris
Slovaks vote for president amid fallout from journalist murder