For some reason, the British royal family remains pertinent in popular culture. We’re not sure what to attribute it to, either. Maybe it all comes down to the Queen’s smile or perhaps it’s just celebrity culture run amok. Either way, “the fam” is still totally relevant in the United Kingdom, even though no royal edicts have been issued for quite some time.
The United States’ obsession with the family is even harder to come to grips with. Despite breaking off from Britain in 1776, American supermarkets still have magazines featuring royal weddings on the cover. This obsession with regality doesn’t extend to other parts of the world — a shame, considering the Saudi Prince, Sultan bin Salman, recently held a wedding that included a parade of high-end autos, with 30 ice-white Range Rovers just for the bridal party. But we suppose that’s par for the course when you’re a multi-billionaire.
Britain’s royals, while still rich, don’t have the kind of scratch necessary to field an armada of cars for a princely wedding. It’s also not their style. But Mini decided to swoop in and capitalize on the Western World’s obsession with the joining of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by delivering a car celebrating the union.
As a one-off, you won’t see this modified Cooper entering production. Instead, BMW Group said it plans to donate the unique vehicle to the Children’s HIV Association for public auction. Whoever purchases it is either a kind-hearted philanthropist or celebrity-obsessed lunatic.
“As an iconic British brand with almost 60 years of history in the UK, we are pleased to mark the royal wedding with this special charitable gift,” said Oliver Heilmer, head of the Mini design team. “The Mini Design team has created a one-off Mini Hatch for the occasion. Its specially designed roof graphic combines with 3D-printed personalized interior and exterior details as well as special embroidery to make this a MINI like no other.”
Despite being little more than a marketing opportunity, the brand does appear to have taken special care to build the car. Graphics that join Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s national flags are everywhere. Although the final result is a bit abstract; figuring out where the Stars and Stripes end and the Union Jack begins isn’t easy.
Other details included themed taillights, chrome accents, and little love tributes all over the interior. Signal indicators have also been 3D-printed and embellish the initials M and H with a heart and rings. When opened, the doors project “Just Married” onto the ground too. While not overdone to a point that becomes inexcusably offensive, the heavy-handed branding is still just awful. But someone’s aunt probably thinks it’s the best-looking car ever made.
As stated before, this is a one-off car, so you can’t buy one. However, you could build you own. The brand recently launched its “Mini: Yours Customized” pilot program in a handful of markets and the wedding car serves as an advertisement for what’s possible. You can, of course, do your own thing by imprinting your own words on a custom dashboard, illuminated doorframe, turn signals, and/or LED door projectors.
It’s gimmicky to the extreme, but remains kind of a cool option if you’re the kind of person who is into extensive levels of personalization. You might want to pass knowledge of the service’s existence to that weird aunt.
[Images: BMW Group]