Meet the Queen’s superfans who spend thousands decorating homes with royal gadgets
Dressed in a Union Jack jacket and a red, white and blue rosette with a photograph of the Queen on it, Margaret Tyler could easily be crowned Her Majesty’s most loyal subject.
Every inch of her home is covered in royal memorabilia, except for the kitchen – but guess who’s on the tea towels?
Even the outside is adorned with red, white and blue flags, with a model of a Queen’s Guardsman next to the front door.
Widowed Margaret, 78, started the impressive collection around 40 years ago when she bought a bowl with a picture of the Queen at a county fair.
Since then, the retired bed and breakfast owner has spent thousands of pounds on her hobby – and thinks it’s been worth every penny. She says: “I don’t go on vacation because I get bored very quickly. If there isn’t a castle or royals there, I’m not interested. I am happy to pay money for this. People even knocked on my door before asking if it’s a museum and what my opening hours are.”
Five rooms of their semi-detached house in Wembley, north-west London, are filled with everything from slippers in the shape of the Queen and Prince Philip laying down for the night, to a full-size Prince Charles dwarf.
There’s even a special Diana room, complete with a carpet from the Grand Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner in central London, where the Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a party for their staff in 1995. Margaret says: “Charles and Diana walked on the carpet which is now at my house, which is an odd feeling.
“A friend of mine was working at the hotel when it was being renovated and bought it for me. Many people give me items. The only piece I feel is missing from my collection is something by Diana. I would like a little piece of clothing from her.”
She didn’t hesitate to snag some new Platinum Jubilee souvenirs, including a plate worth over £300.
Her children Tracey, 50, Andrew, 41, Julie, 40, and Mark, 39, know what they’re getting for their birthday – among the presents was a mannequin of the Duchess of Cambridge in a replica of her engagement dress.
Despite the vast collection, Margaret claims she would notice if something was in the wrong place.
“I can’t stand the wrong cup being in the wrong department,” she says. “They all have their own departments. However, it takes me a long time to dust every room. When I’m done, it’s time to start all over again!”
As she looks forward to celebrating the Queen’s 70th year on the throne, Margaret has prepared her Jubilee Room, which is filled floor to ceiling with mementos of the Queen’s various milestones.
She plans to attend some of the anniversary celebrations like Trooping the Color and the Platinum Pageant.
Over the years, Margaret has regularly turned up to similar events in the early hours hoping to see the royals, although she draws the line when she goes camping overnight to snag the best spot.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
She has met Diana, the Queen Mother, and recently Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. Margaret has also spoken to her idol, the Queen, four times, but has not told her about her collection.
She says: “For her 80th birthday I baked her a cake and gave her when she was searched by security. I also wrote to the Queen when Prince Philip died and got a nice message back. She is very nice.”
Margaret, who was nine when the Queen was crowned on June 2, 1953, says it is the monarch’s sense of duty to the nation that makes her a superfan favourite.
She says: “The way she has taken care of us over the years has been fantastic. There’s something magical about her.”
Two mugs from the charity shop sparked a £30,000 collection…
Tajinder Nahar stands between porcelain plates and mugs, books and parlor games, pictures and tea trays and beams with pride.
The royal superfan, 65, has taken 30 years and more than £30,000 to create his collection, which started out of boredom.
“I was 35 and unemployed,” recalls the semi-retired builder from Hayes, Middlesex. “I was at home with nothing to do when my then-wife said, ‘Why don’t you start a collection?’
“Initially, when she sent me to the charity shop, I was hesitant. But when I saw two mugs with Queen Elizabeth’s face on them, I just knew. That was the beginning of everything.”
Tajinder, who moved to Britain from India when he was 24, says: “Unlike the distant kings and queens I met in history class, Queen Elizabeth was right there. You could turn on the TV and see them, or turn on the radio and hear them. She was always so dignified.”
After the first few purchases, he says, “I started looking for items two or three times a week. I would visit all the charity shops and flea markets.”
Within months there was no more room in the kitchen. “It started creeping into every room,” he laughs. “I had to start stashing some of this under our bed! She is an amazing woman who has done so much for this country. My collection is a small way of showing that.”
The Queen’s celebration also became a family project.
“I came home from my shopping trips with all these bags and I got my three kids to help me sort.”
They soon got used to their father barging into a store whenever he spotted royal memorabilia. “I’d barge in and be like, ‘How much? Just give it to me!’”
Decades later, his children are still jokingly taking revenge.
“If I don’t go to the market, they’ll say, ‘Dad, you missed so many great things,’ to scare me,” he laughs.
His hobby was also one of the first things he shared with his current partner Jaya Mekban, 61, when they met in 2008. “I don’t think she knew what to say,” he says.
Of the amount he spent, he says: “Sometimes I would spend £100, sometimes it could be less than £1 for a thimble or a flag.”
In February, Tajinder’s daughter wrote to the palace inviting the queen to tea. What would he say if she arrived?
“I know if I stood in front of her, I would be speechless,” he says.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/meet-queens-superfans-who-spend-27064696 Meet the Queen's superfans who spend thousands decorating homes with royal gadgets