Before we ever started The Teacup Attic back in August of 2011, we fell in love with a teacup from the Royal Albert Provincial Flowers Series. Soon, we endeavored to collect all 12. Each teacup represents the flower of the different Canadian provinces. The series was released in 1975 and was produced up until 2001, shortly before Royal Albert ceased its operations in England.

The Provincial Flowers series isn’t the only one featuring these striking florals on black backgrounds. The Flora series, featuring 6 different patterns, is another and it too was released in 1975. To complicate my collecting, 3 of the teacups from the Provincial Flowers Series are repeated in the Flora series. The only difference is the name of the series on the back stamps! I have now been working on building this collection and I still haven’t found all the pieces!

Hunting Is a Lot of Fun

Years have gone by since we first added the first teacup from the Royal Albert Provincial Flowers Series to our home. We have picked up the odd piece here or there but for one reason or another, some just seemed harder to find. In fact, I have been working on building this collection and with the thousands of teacups we see each year, I still have not managed to pull it together. But hunting for those elusive pieces can be a lot of fun and all the more rewarding when you finally find it. If you have read our blog from December, A Study of Royal Albert Cup Shapes, Part 2, you’ll already know that this beautiful set of 12 teacups was released on the Gainsborough shape.

Changes To The Canadian Landscape

Interestingly, when this set of 12 Provincial Flowers teacups and saucers were released by Royal Albert in 1975, Canada was made up of 10 Provinces and 2 Territories. On April 1st, 1999, a portion of the Northwest Territories was used to create a 3rd territory called Nunavut. If Royal Albert were to add a 13th pattern to this series, it would use Nunavut’s provincial flower the Purple Saxifrage, the first flower to appear in the Arctic Spring.

Purple Saxifrage flowers cling to the tip of a rock that juts out of the landscape in Nunavut in the Springtime. Royal Albert Provincial Flowers
The Purple Saxifrage is Nunavut’s Territorial Flower

We’ve Changed Our Minds, We Want Another Flower

Updating this series would also require that Royal Albert produce a new pattern for Quebec. Originally, Quebec’s provincial flower was the Madonna Lily but 1999 seems to have been a big year for changes as they changed their provincial flower to the blue flag iris. It closely resembles the fleur-de-lis which is prominently featured on their blue and white flag. The change was influenced by the fact that their original flower, the Madonna Lily, was not native to the region.

Royal Albert Provincial Flowers
The Madonna Lily

Given the changes with the addition of new territory and the change of Provincial Flowers, if Royal Albert were to produce the same series today, it would look slightly different.

Do you have a favorite Royal Albert series or pattern that you like to collect? Leave us a comment below telling us which one it is!

It’s time to give away another teacup! In fact, this month, you can win a Royal Albert Old Country Roses trio! Our February contest is now beginning and closes February. 4th and closes on February 25th. Our contest is open to everyone and it is easy to participate in just a few clicks. See our complete contest rules here.

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Come back to visit next Monday for our latest installment of The Teacup Attic blog.

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