By on May 11, 2018

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]

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41 Comments on “Just Terrible: Mini Launches One-off Cooper Celebrating Royal Wedding...”

  • avatar

    Ohoho man that’s terrible.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Perhaps one reason for the Crown’s popularity can be explained by the current debate/division/uproar created when elected person serves as both the Head of State, and the Chief Executive, and the C-o-C? The role of the Monarch in a constitutional monarchy is supposed to be ‘above politics’, serving as the Head of State, and as a form of restrained and private constraint/advisor to the Head of the Government.

    • 0 avatar

      Mascots in a velvet lined zoo.

    • 0 avatar

      “Perhaps one reason for the Crown’s popularity can be explained by the current debate/division/uproar created when elected person serves as both the Head of State, and the Chief Executive, and the C-o-C? The role of the Monarch in a constitutional monarchy is supposed to be ‘above politics’, serving as the Head of State, and as a form of restrained and private constraint/advisor to the Head of the Government.”

      Also Supreme Governor of the state Church.

      Even worse the oath of allegiance used by the British military, public servants and citizenship ceremonies requires fealty to the reigning monarch and all his/her heirs and successors.

      Imagine if that happened in the US. Donald Trump as monarch for life.
      The armed services and all naturalized citizens swearing fealty to The Donald and whichever of his kids inherits his throne, Donald Trump heading up the Church of America, etc, etc.

  • avatar

    What I find more entertaining that a certain segment of the British Public is loosing their minds because fair Megan is biracial and divorced. Made me check my calendar to see if we had indeed made it to the 21st Century.

  • avatar

    Dodge Challenger, do your job:

  • avatar

    Well, the wedding is silly and overpriced, so why shouldn’t this car be?

  • avatar

    We’ll see this in “Junkyard Finds: UK Edition” in about 20 years.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Over the years my view of the Royal Family has been as positive as driving a half worn 75 Morris Marina.

  • avatar

    Nothing says “England” like a German car with a name licensed from a former British company gone bankrupt.Long live the Empire.

    • 0 avatar

      Rule, Britannia!
      Britannia, rule the waves.
      Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

      (Jolly whistling…)

    • 0 avatar

      Reminds me of the generic MG crapbox a friend of mine bought in China. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a letter to write to Tata Steel, since the Indians now own the British steel industry.

  • avatar

    Despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to avoid news of British royals, babies, weddings, shenanigans, etc.

    If there was a way to opt out of that news, I would certainly jump at it as I give exactly zero @&cks about it.

    Yet here I am commenting on a automobile site with a British Royal wedding article.

    Happy Mother’s day gang, hope your spouses, mothers, etc. have a good weekend.

  • avatar

    Putting aside the insanity of all this, does this car become some kind of bizarre collectors item? Or will we find it owned by a nice family of four in north London ten years from now?

    • 0 avatar

      Both are likely. Someone will put a perfect one into storage waiting for auction, while the vast majority will become just another Mini in a long line of small cars with different colored roofs.

      The puddle light is the WORST. The rest of elements border on stupid but kind of cute, but the “Just Married” light? So tacky! It should have come with tin cans to drag behind it instead.

  • avatar

    “The United States’ obsession with the family is even harder to come to grips with”

    Ms Markle perfectly explains the obsession. The ability to become a real princess by marrying into the royal family makes physical every little girls’ Disney dream. Approximately 50% of the US population is living vicariously through her. Seriously, most elaborate weddings in the US are an attempt to be princess for a day. The fact that Megan is American, biracial and divorced just extends the possibility to even more women than the previous royal marriages did. I don’t doubt that Harry is truly in love but he has managed as a side issue to significantly enhance the Windsor brand. When Prince George comes of age the frenzy will be unequaled.

    • 0 avatar

      At this point I wouldn’t rule out Charles going full Bruce/Katy Jenner and secure the crown by popular acclamation.

      (yes, the irony of using popular acclamation here is intended)

    • 0 avatar

      You are spot on, CCG.
      Men couldn’t care less about the royal wedding, in fact, I’d tell Harry to dump her and stay single.
      Women wish they could be Megan – lots of miles on the odometer, at the end of their attractive years, and soon to be wealthy and never have to lift a finger again. Every self-absorbed, entitled future ex-wife would kill to be in her heels.

    • 0 avatar

      At the rate they are going, the next King after William will probably be a homo and will marry a ‘man’.
      Remember, you heard it here FIRST.
      What type of car will commemorate that ?

  • avatar

    There is some undeniable cuteness about Brits. Their accent is cute, Beatles are cute (compare them with American answer – loud, wild and shirtless Grand Funk with Michigan accent), James Bond is cute while being deadly, Mini is cute (compare with Camaro), Queen is cute (compare her with Trump).

    • 0 avatar

      Thank goodness that Trump is not “cute”. Or effeminate like Obama.
      But I’ve got to say that Lady Di was a beautiful woman. You should have brought HER up instead of the Queen. That was bad form.
      Recent royals ? Meh…

    • 0 avatar

      There is no one “accent”.

      Received Pronunctiation is different from Georgie is different from Glaswegian is different from Belfast is different from Welsh.

    • 0 avatar

      The true “American answer” to the Beatles, right at first, were the Beau Brummels – at least that’s what the pop music history texts I have read claim.

  • avatar

    Obama is cute (Brits love him but he hates Brits) – how otherwise that empty suit was able to get elected not once but TWICE despite being utter failure as a president of superpower. Trump already achieved in 1.5 year more than Obama in 8 years of his two terms as president. And who gets Nobel prize? Obama not Trump. Do not ask me why. Well because he is cute and Trump is not.

  • avatar

    Prediction: Five years from now some guy shows up at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in this Cooper. He asks for $15K and the Old Man says “$250 is more in my comfort zone, son”.

  • avatar

    Mini belongs to BMW. It all feels like a bit of German marketing. For instance, not all Irish and Scots will like the Union Jack type taillights.

  • avatar

    I once asked an Englishman “Why don’t you get rid of the Monarchy? Why keep the Queen?”
    His answer “Why don’ you get rid of the Mickey Mouse?”

    Royals are a kind of cultural, historical and financial asset to Britain…

  • avatar

    A German British car sounds perfect for the Royal family

    (who are of German ancestry)

  • avatar

    “What do you mean, calling me a German spy? Why, I’m as British as, as, as, Queen Victoria!”

    “Oh, you mean your mother was a German, your father was half German, and you married a German?”

    10 points for anyone who can identify the source of that quotation.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe that was from a short lived BBC comedy with the guy from the “Mr. Bean” films, back in the ‘80s if I’m not mistaken. I’m still trying to figure out why the author of this article hates the royals so much. They do charity work and promote the U.K., what’s the problem? I think many Americans are interested because it’s tradition. Tradition is constantly under fire in the U.S., it seems like there’s always an axe to grind here. Even innocuous traditions like the Boy Scouts are under fire. Lots of Americans are of British descent as well. The author speaks of “coming to grips” with America’s obsession regarding the royals. Coming to grips? Is he resigning himself to something? How will the nuptials of Prince Henry and Ms. Markle directly influence his life? Curious article.

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