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Artist's toy - The Royal Wedding Charger

The Royal Wedding Charger

  • Object:

    Artist's toy

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1981 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wareham, Maggie (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, rope, beads, shells and lace

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Oliver Heal

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Moving Toys Gallery, case 3

The Royal Charger was made in 1981 as a unique souvenir of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales (Charles and Diana) at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29th, 1981. It is hand carved in wood and hand painted. It was commissioned by the department store Heal's of Tottenham Court Road, London. However, it was liked so much that Mr Oliver Heal decided that it should be given to the Museum of Childhood.

Physical description

The horse is in the form of a rocking horse with solid rockers, partly carved, with the body and legs divided by a black line from the rest of the rockers. The head is varnished to show wood grain, overpainted with red, white, blue, black and tan to show facial features, mane and star decorations. The inner ears, mane and body are painted tan, the hooves black. The body is also painted with red and purple stars. The mane is teased rope decorated with red, white and blue beads on string. Between the ears are red and black feathers. The rope is fixed into a run of four holes down the neck. The tail is teased rope, fixed into a hole in the back.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1981 (made)


Wareham, Maggie (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, rope, beads, shells and lace

Marks and inscriptions



Length: 50.8 cm

Object history note

The Charger was commissioned by Heal's of Tottenham Court Road, London, from Maggie Wareham in order to commemorate the Royal wedding in 1981. Maggie Wareham specialised in hand carved toy and had made a number of original toys which were priced at about £500. The charger was presented to the then head of Bethnal Green Museum, Mr Anthony Burton, at a press launch and photocall on July 17th, 1981. It was displayed at Heal's until July 24th, 1981

Descriptive line

Wooden artist's toy, The Royal Wedding Charger, made in England by Maggie Wareham in 1981


Hand carved; Painted; Lacquered


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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