When it comes to the British Royal Family, Nulkaba’s Jan Hugo is quite possibly the biggest fan in Australia.
Her memorabilia collection boasts more than 10,000 pieces – from a King George III coin from 1806, to a life-sized cardboard cutout of the soon-to-be-wed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Mrs Hugo’s collection started with a coin commemorating Charles and Diana’s engagement, which she bought when her eldest daughter Penny was born in 1981.
When she went to the chemist to order Penny’s baby photos, she received a set of Charles and Diana wedding wine glasses for free.
She soon added a plate, a spoon and a tea towel, and it all grew from there.
“We got to 10,000 and stopped counting,” she said.
“But we add something every day.”
Mrs Hugo and her husband David established Monarchs in the Hunter at their home after the birth of Prince George in 2013, when their collection gained national media attention.
They have since taken regular tour groups through their home, with guests coming from far and wide to view the collection, learn a bit of history and enjoy morning tea.
Many of the pieces have been donated to what’s now believed to be Australia’s biggest collection of Royal Family memorabilia.
“People send it in the mail, we’ll find parcels on the verandah,” Mrs Hugo said.
Her daughters help her find pieces online, and she scours gift shops, second-hand shops and antique stores.
Mrs Hugo does a bit of research on each piece, and shares the fascinating history with her tour groups.
It’s been a big year for the Royal Family, with the birth of Prince Louis in April, along with Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s upcoming nuptials, which Mrs Hugo said has resulted in a boost in tour numbers at her home in the past month.
Mrs Hugo said Prince Harry is her favourite royal, and she thinks Meghan will make a lovely duchess.
“She reminds me of Diana in that she has a kind heart, and she makes Harry happy,” she said.
Mrs Hugo will have high tea with a group of friends to watch the royal wedding on Saturday night.
“We’ll have our tiaras on and our flags out,” she said.
After seeing William and Catherine at Taronga Zoo in 2014, and meeting Charles and Camilla in 2015, Mrs Hugo is hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry – and hopefully his new bride – when he visits Australia for the Invictus Games in October.
The royal wedding will be broadcast live on several free-to-air channels – including SBS, Seven, ABC and Nine – from 7pm Saturday AEST.
The bride is expected to enter the chapel about 9pm AEST.
READ MORE:How and when to watch the Royal wedding
- Monarchs in the Hunter is open by appointment. For more information phone 4990 4224.