14 APRIL 2004
As the May 22 nuptials of Spain's Crown Prince Felipe draw closer, souvenir producers on the peninsula are having a field day with the likeness of the hunky 36-year-old royal and his former newsreader bride-to-be Letizia Ortiz.
Portraits of the young couple now adorn everything from commemorative plates and mugs to thimbles, board games and T-shirts. There is even a special store located near to the palace selling only souvenirs with motifs related to the wedding and the Spanish royal family.
Items on offer range from pens and keychains to a white gold or silver replica of the pair's engagement ring - the original's diamonds replaced by zirconite. There's also a commemorative orange-blossom fragrance and a series of "Royal Air" fans.
With excitement over the ceremony growing, some ordinary Madrid residents are also managing to cash in on the event. Those with homes affording views of the palace or the Almudena Cathedral where Felipe and Letizia will plight their troth, are making the most of their good fortune by renting out their homes as vantage points from which to watch the wedding day festivities.
Tying the knot with her handsome royal beau will place 31-year-old Letizia - who is a Spanish native from the north of the country - in line to become Spain's first queen with no royal or aristocratic blood.