"We originally wanted to do something with Mrs. Thatcher where you'd put your foot in her mouth," says Chris Noble, 27, Linden's commercial director. Meanwhile, the Spitting image folk were angling to do the royals the same way.
Unfortunately, no one could nail down a workable foot-in-mouth design. Consequently, that idea was given the boot, "and we decided to put them in bed," says Noble. The results: Charles and Di are tucked under a Union Jack bedspread. Ditto for Queen Elizabeth, who has her hair in rollers, and Prince Philip, whose head is covered by a naval cap. Lying in a pin-striped bed with the Tory party logo on the side, a stern-looking Thatcher (fittingly, she's the right foot) is paired with Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Yankee Doodle Dandies might prefer to slip into Ron and Nancy slippers—the President and the First Lady tucked snugly under a Stars and Stripes bedspread. George and Barbara Bush slippers, promises Noble, are just a step behind. The Quayles are not yet on tap.
Fashioned from a silicon mold, then sprayed and partially hand-painted, the slippers retail for $30. "They are functional," points out Noble, who estimates that 100,000 pairs have been sold in Britain and 65,000 in the U.S.
"We did them to prove that the royals and politicians have soles," deadpans Spitting Image's co-creator, Roger Law, 47. "The royal slippers are together in the same bedroom more than Charles and Diana ever are."
All you commoners who probably get nothing but the cold shoulder from the royal family, take heart. Better yet, take feet—and put them in slipons bearing likenesses of Chuck and Di in repose. The Linden U.K. Holding Company and the creators of the British satirical TV show Spitting Image collaborated to produce the sleepy-time footgear. Linden, purveyors of pig-faced slippers, wanted to move up a bit higher on the ecological chain and get a surer foothold on the metatarsal market.