Newly released rubbers take royal protection to a whole new level.
Or so a London-based condom manufacturer hopes anyway. Crown Jewels, which describes itself as “the proud purveyor of an exclusive range of heritage love sheaths,” sells the condoms in regal purple boxes, each containing three prophylactics. Their saucy marketing campaign helped them sell more than 1,000 packs in the 24 hours following the product’s Jan. 28 release. “Like a Royal Wedding, intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion,” a slogan on the box reads. The web site is slightly more crass, entreating consumers to “lie back and think of England.”
(More on TIME.com: Photos: Introducing Kate Middleton.)
Here’s the rub: these condoms don’t actually protect against unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Even so, company spokesperson Hugh Pomfret told the London Metro that plenty of consumers will want to fork over £5 ($8) for a three-pack because of the history they represent. “Our prophylactics are designed as an heirloom product. We would encourage people to keep hold of them as a memento of a special national occasion,” he said. And, if shoppers acknowledge the dangers of these faux condoms, they can still slip them on during love-making. “They are of course welcome to enjoy the supple latex and gliding lubrication of our products.”
Ingrid Seward, the editor of Majesty magazine, won’t take up his offer. “This is completely tasteless and really rather hurtful,” she told The Sun. “Prince William has a great sense of humour but this is a step too far. This is a cheap swipe to make money.” (via New Zealand Herald)
(More on TIME.com: See pictures of Princess Diana.)