A diehard Royal Family fan admits he has 'gone days without food’ to fund his massive memorabilia collection.
Michael Perkins has amassed around 1,000 items featuring the Royals since he bought a mug for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and got hooked.
The 38-year-old who sacrifices his diet for the cause, spends up to 20 hours a week scouring for gems in charity shops and jumble sales across Gwent, South Wales.
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Michael has now crammed so much memorabilia in his two-bed house in Newport, that he has had to put some of it in storage and other pieces with friends.
His collection ranges from cups, plates, and milk bottles to a piece of Charles and Diana’s wedding cake from 1981.
He said: “Sometimes I’ll go without food and go without other things to subsidise it.
"With the cost of living crisis and my benefits it is really hard but I do manage to find little bits and pieces.
“Sometimes I won’t eat for a couple of days. I scrimp with the food and just buy tins – like beans and microwave meals.
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“I don’t smoke or drink. And whatever is left out of my budget I spend on royal memorabilia – even if it’s just £1 or £2.
“I go to charity shops or jumble sales to find stuff. Some of them keep it in the back for me now if it’s donated because they know I like it.”
Mr Perkins likened his hobby to a football fan – saying that they would spend an equal amount of time and money on that past time.
“You could say people who follow football have an addiction, it’s just the same as that,” he added.
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“I wouldn’t say it’s an addiction. It’s just a hobby and I enjoy it.”
Despite being a fan of memorabilia, Mr Perkins accused some businesses of trying to “cash in” on the Queen’s death with “stuff they’ve just knocked out”.
“I don’t go for the unofficial stuff and I think in London they were cashing it in on it a lot,” he said.
“I went to a shop and it was just stuff they’d knocked out – £17 for a mug. So I didn’t get it.
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“I’m not like that – I collect because I enjoy it. I’ve liked the monarchy for a long time and I enjoy it so I don’t do it for the monetary value.”
Michael's hobby has soared in popularity worldwide since the Queen's death on September 8, and Iceland has been no different.
Einar Davidsson, head of business development at travel website Guide to Iceland said the global coverage of the Queen's funeral on Monday proves the enduring appeal of the British Royal Family.
He said: "With Charles III as king, its appeal will endure and it will no doubt continue to be a fantastic symbol of the UK's soft power as well as a powerful tourist attraction."
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