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NPG D48190 in 360°

The production of royal portraits for the popular market has often centred on important events such as coronations and weddings. This mug, designed by artist Laura Knight, commemorates a constitutional event that never happened: in 1936 Edward VIII abdicated the throne in favour of his brother, who went on to reign as George VI. Instead of the traditional symbols for British royalty (a lion and unicorn), Edward is flanked by St George and the Dragon on the left, and a circus elephant on the right, probably inspired by the artist's depictions of English circuses in the 1920s and early 1930s. Knight went on to design a new mug to commemorate George's coronation using the same imagery.

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Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII)
designed by Dame Laura Knight, manufactured by Burgess & Leigh Limited (Burleigh)
printed and painted earthenware, 1936
NPG D48190
Photographs © National Portrait Gallery, London