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Remembering the strange tale of Queen Elizabeth II and the golden Nintendo Wii

Enlarge / A console fit for a queen? (credit: Console Variations)

The 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, which ended yesterday with her death, will be remembered for the many historical events and world figures with which it intersected. Among fans of video game marginalia, it will also be remembered for a marketing stunt from a now-defunct video game publisher that sent 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 People published a lightly sourced story alleging that “the gadget-loving Queen has become hooked on Prince William’s new Nintendo Wii games console.”

An unnamed “palace source” supposedly told the paper that the queen “begged to join in” after seeing the then-25-year-old William play with his Christmas gift (from then-girlfriend Kate Middleton) at Sandringham House. The then-81-year-old monarch reportedly had “hand-eye coordination [that] was as good as somebody half her age” (we wonder what her Wii Fit age would have been) and “showed all the signs of becoming a Nintendo addict.”

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