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Royal Fol-de-Rol

by Sam Moore

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Sam Moore 
Sam Moore

Well, folks, April 29th is the BIG day! Prince William, the heir (next in line after his very patient father) to the throne of the United Kingdom is going to marry his lovely commoner, Kate Middleton.

It seems that most of the Western World is in a state of high excitement and anticipation as time for the event approaches and many people are determined to profit from the royal nuptials.

One can buy souvenir plates, cups and mugs, as well as tea towels to dry them. There are ash trays, spoons, drink coasters, and clocks. The Franklin Mint is selling a Kate Middleton engagement doll for $195.00 and, when the top secret design of the royal wedding dress is finally announced, the same doll dressed in all the wedding finery will go for $295.00, or one can get both dolls for $490.00.

Charm bracelets, key rings, T-shirts and even thimbles are available, all with the smiling faces of Will and Kate on them. I read on April 1st that General Electric was offering a side-by-side refrigerator with a likeness of the happy couple on the front – of course that was probably just an April Fool's joke.

However, in the last issue of the British magazine, Vintage Tractor & Countryside Heritage, was a short blurb about a "Royal Wedding Tractor," of all things!

Richard Spencer, who is marketing manager for New Holland, recently told the press, "British royal weddings are always a really special occasion, not just for Great Britain, but for millions of people across the world. This is a truly historic event and New Holland – a manufacturer that is proud to build in Britain – recognises its significance. We want to be there waving the Union Flag in April as we watch British history in the making."

To wave the flag, New Holland is offering each customer who buys any New Holland tractor new during the month of April a free Union Flag decal across the bonnet (hood to we Colonials) and one across the front of the cab above the windscreen (windshield) as well.

A New Holland Model T7.210 decked out in its Royal Wedding finery.(Courtesy of a New Holland Corporation publicity release)

This isn't the first time an English tractor manufacturer has put out a special royal tractor.

In 1953 King George VI died and his eldest daughter Elizabeth was crowned Queen. In honor of the new Queen's Coronation, International Harvester's factory in Doncaster, England, painted fifty Farmall Super BMD tractors in a special royal color. The tractors were all wide-front models (tricycle fronts weren't popular in Great Britain) and were painted entirely gold, including wheels, rims, head lights and even the muffler.

Well, Elizabeth is still Queen of England, and three or four of the gold Farmall Super BMD coronation tractors have survived and are in the hands of collectors. I wonder if any of the Royal Wedding New Holland tractors will be still around in 2069. For that matter, who'll bet that Will and Kate will still be married then?