The United Kingdom’s doll company, Lottie Dolls, has always branded itself as a manufacturer of toys that reflect real-life girls and real-life events. Featuring dolls that go hiking or fishing, bicycling or stargazing, these dolls represented contemporary girls enjoying activities ranging from the athletic to the artistic (easels, palettes, and paintbrushes as accessories). So, for a fairy-princess-like doll to emerge from this chronicler of actual life, you know it has to be something special, and, indeed, it is! The week of May 10, Lottie unveiled their Royal Flower Girl, a musing on what one of Meghan Markle’s bridal attendants might look like.
True to their company’s mission, the Royal Flower Girl has a definite connection to the real world and the events that are swirling around. Reporters have dug into “who’s who” at the upcoming May 19 ceremony and have breathily conjectured that most of Markle’s entourage will be children. Flower girls and pageboys will be accompanying her down that long, long aisle in St. George’s Chapel, in Windsor Castle. The host of angelic children has always provided great shots for the BBC and the attending print photographers. When Kate Middleton ascended to becoming Princess Catherine, she and William were surrounded by a bevy of beautiful little boys and girls.
So, it makes sense that the UK’s Lottie Dolls has ushered forth a rendering of what they imagine a Royal Flower Girl will be dressed as, and will be accessorized with. On May 19, it is rumored that Prince George and Princess Charlotte (newest sibling Prince Louis is way too tiny) will be among the flower girl and pageboy retinue. Also joining the fresh-faced flower-girl brigade will be Ivy Mulroney, the daughter of Meghan’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney.
Jessica and her 4-year-old daughter, Ivy, are well-known in Canada. Publications have likened Jessica to the Gwyneth Paltrow of Toronto—a woman who has made a name for herself in the lifestyle sector. Jessica Mulroney is a professional stylist who began her career as a bridal expert at the Kleinfeld salons. Today her client list includes celebrities, politicians, sports heroes, and apparently future members of the House of Windsor.
Young daughter Ivy is the granddaughter of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, so she and her two brothers have been in the public eye since birth. Waltzing down the aisle with future kings or queens (newfound friends George and Charlotte) will be “old hat” for this child who has been modeling since she could stand on her own two feet.
Lottie Dolls has made the Royal Edition of their flower girl potentially accessible to every member of the collecting public. On its Instagram page, it has a contest to win one of these limited-edition dolls, which they suspect will be going very quickly. The details are included on this page, and pretty much involves just liking the post and/or sharing the post (hashtag is #RoyalWeddingLottie).
It is quite fitting that Lottie Dolls has this tenderness toward the upcoming pomp and circumstance. Interestingly, before they became synonymous with “every girl” and “everyday naturalness,” they kicked off their doll career with two very meticulously made Catherine and Prince William dolls. In 2011, Lottie’s parent company, Arklu, crafted the fashion dolls for sale in Harrod’s of London and FAO Schwarz in New York City. They altruistically offered to donate proceeds from the sale of each doll to two of Prince William’s favorite charities. Even then as a startup business, they had their eyes on doing more than just selling goods to the public. They wanted to do good, too.
Honoring the fact that Kate and Wills’s wedding—yep, William’s nickname is Wills—had helped to launch their profile, the Arklu team began to research the prince’s family tree for a name to do business as. Wanting to create dolls that were wholesome and were keyed into innocence and good manners, Arklu figured a princess or duchess from the past would be a nice reminder of the William/Kate connection and their goal to venerate young girls. They selected Charlotte from William’s ancestors, and shortened it to the nickname Lottie. As fate would have it, Prince William and his bride would name their firstborn daughter “Charlotte” when she entered the world in May 2015.
A year after Princess Charlotte’s arrival, her grandfather Prince Charles visited the offices of Arklu/Lottie Dolls in Donegal, Ireland. He was presented with the original Royal Wedding Dolls that began their successful business, and was shown the array of Lottie Dolls that continue to capture the spirit and the sense of limitless possibilities for girls growing up today. Since then, Lottie Dolls has always been mentioned as an “official gift” for the royal family at birthday and holiday times, as well as a present that they like to bestow upon others.
For the Lottie creative team, the marriage of American Meghan Markle to British Prince Harry is a dream come true. Since they strive these days to make dolls that kick down barriers of race, ethnicities, physical differences, and gender, they are delighted to be presenting a flower girl who will be a part of this groundbreaking ceremony.
Additionally, Meghan Markle is a role model for their Lottie club members. When Meghan was 11 years old, she had gained notoriety on Nickelodeon television’s “Nick News” show by leading a charge against “sexist language” in TV soap-detergent ads. Taking exception to how a soap commercial stated “women” were battling against greasy pots and pans, young Meghan penned a letter to the company’s CEO stating that it should be “people,” not exclusively women. The company read her letter, reviewed it, and conceded to it. The ad was changed to “people across America,” and Meghan’s star was on the rise.
Lottie reached out to its club members to come up with cards for the happy couple, and a winning piece of artwork will be included in the packaging as well. Part of their “Inspired by Real Kids” competition, the artwork comes from the hearts and hands of real children who play with and adore the Lottie lineup.
Whatever happens after May 19—whether there are bundles of babies, or a single offspring, or none at all—the Royal Wedding 2018 has inspired kids the world over. A 10-year-old named Sophie wrote to the Lottie team to say how much Meghan Markle has inspired her personally: “Meghan told me that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve.”
That is the point of all Lottie creations, hoping to honor girls that are real, are different, and are filled with hope and optimism. It is amazing that a fairy-tale union has made this very real mission come true.
Read about more Royal Wedding collectibles:
Meghan in Mohair: Will the future American Princess become a teddy bear?
Royal Wedding 2018: A love affair for bear collectors and royal watchers
Steiff Says I Do: You can turn a ceremony into a Royal Wedding