Brandon man’s passion for the monarchy fuels decades-long collection

From figurines to saucers, Doug Adams’ living room is filled with royal faces.

The Brandon, Man., resident collects royal china – porcelain pieces with the royal family’s images, often celebrating major milestones like jubilees and weddings.

“I think that the way china is produced, it is an art form and it’s beautiful,” said Adams.

He said his passion for the monarchy started at an early age.

“My grandfather came from England and I was always impressed that he had lived where the Queen lived and I kept and made scrapbooks and collected books,” he said.

Already with a love for the Queen, a young Adams saw a collection of royal china in Winnipeg for the Queen’s golden jubilee.

“I said to my mother, this is what I want to collect, so I started collecting in 1977 when I was in grade 7.”

Decades later, Adams’ collection now consists of about 800 pieces of royal china.

Most pieces are from Queen Victoria onwards, with his oldest dating back to 1831.

Adams has had several royal run-ins, including a time when he met Queen Elizabeth II during one of her royal visits to Canada.

“I’ve presented the Queen flowers when she was here in 2002 for her golden jubilee and she thanked me for them,” he said, adding he has also visited London a handful of times.

Her Majesty’s passing on Sept. 8 was a hard day for Adams.

“It was a shock, but you just always expect her to be around. Her mother lived to 101, she was 96 so you thought, ‘Oh you’ve got a few more years yet,'” he said.

With a new King soon to be crowned, Adams hopes it sparks more pieces to be made and collected.

“King Charles III has set off on a very good foot and that he’s going to be a great monarch and will follow in his mother’s footsteps and I just hope that there are lots of pieces that I can add that are very nice,” he said.

Adams said he’s working to make sure his collection lives on past him and is displayed for people to see in the future, possibly by donating it to the province.

It is a royal history told one plate at a time. 

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