Prince William & Kate: the 'Tea Towel' Debate

12/11/2010 at 12:00 PM EST

Prince William & Kate: the 'Tea Towel' Debate
The royal couple and a "tea towel" (inset)
Mark Stewart; inset: Getty
Rarely are towels in such high demand outside of a Bed Bath & Beyond gift registry.

On Wednesday, reports surfaced that the classic royal "tea towel" for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding had been banned, marking a notable break in tradition among royal affairs. (Both of Prince Charles's weddings and the Queen's Golden Jubilee have been commemorated with the souvenir, the equivalent of a keepsake dish towel in the States.)

According to The Sun, a palace source confirmed that only "permanent and significant" items would be sold as official souvenirs – bearing the couple's sanctioned pictures by Mario Testino – and items such as tea towels and T-shirts did not meet that criteria.

On Friday, a spokesperson at the Palace told PEOPLE: "The couple are content for their images to be used in any way, within the realms of decency of course," adding that the Prince's coat of arms will not be allowed to appear on towels or any other unofficial souvenirs for that matter.

"They see the memorabilia side of things, including tea towels, as very much a part of the whole event," a source told The Sun.

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