September 24, 2022
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Remembering the strange tale of Queen Elizabeth II and the golden Nintendo Wii

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A console fit for a queen?
Enlarge / A console match for a queen?

The 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, which ended yesterday with her death, will probably be remembered for the many historical events and world figures with which it intersected. Amongst followers of online game marginalia, it’ll even be remembered for a advertising and marketing stunt from a now-defunct online game writer that despatched a gold-plated Wii to Her Majesty.

The story of the queen’s connection to the Nintendo console begins in early 2008, when the UK tabloid Sunday Folks published a lightly sourced story alleging that “the gadget-loving Queen has grow to be hooked on Prince William’s new Nintendo Wii video games console.”

An unnamed “palace supply” supposedly informed the paper that the queen “begged to hitch in” after seeing the then-25-year-old William play along with his Christmas reward (from then-girlfriend Kate Middleton) at Sandringham House. The then-81-year-old monarch reportedly had “hand-eye coordination [that] was nearly as good as someone half her age” (we marvel what her Wii Fit age would have been) and “confirmed all of the indicators of changing into a Nintendo addict.”

Quick ahead to 2009, when THQ launched Massive Household Video games (identified within the US as Neighborhood Video games) for the Wii. The badly reviewed Wii Sports activities knockoff centered on video games like bocce, horseshoes, and “ladder golf” and could be little remembered right this moment if not for a singular advertising and marketing marketing campaign cooked up by THQ UK.

To emphasize the “household” a part of the title, THQ stated it despatched a replica of the sport to the royal household, “arguably crucial household within the nation,” as THQ’s Danielle Robinson put it in the accompanying press release. To present the story a bit of additional pizzazz, THQ commissioned a singular gold-plated Wii to ship together with the sport as a result of “we thought that Her Majesty the Queen would not wish to play on any outdated console.”

The idea of Queen Elizabeth II playing a horrible game of virtual horseshoes on a gold-plated Wii is inherently hilarious.

The thought of Queen Elizabeth II enjoying a horrible recreation of digital horseshoes on a gold-plated Wii is inherently hilarious.

Whereas it is enjoyable to think about an octogenarian monarch enjoying on a one-of-a-kind gold-plated console, it appears the queen by no means even acquired the particular, shiny system. Because the royal household’s official contact page states plainly, “For safety causes, the Correspondence Group are unable to simply accept any unsolicited presents that are despatched to The Queen.”

Thus, the gold-plated Wii was quietly despatched again to THQ, which didn’t ship out a second press launch clarifying the initial stop-and-gawk coverage of “the queen’s golden Wii.” So far as anybody knew, Queen Elizabeth II was the fortunate proprietor of one of many rarest and most blinged-out recreation consoles on the planet.

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