Tea set made in China to be used in William-Kate wedding

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 13:05 PM IST

Beijing: A porcelain tea set specially made in China by a Chinese woman who once studied in Britain will be used by the royal family during the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Zhu Xiaoju, who studied in Britain, came up with the idea during a chat with her friends. She approached the royal family with the idea, and received a reply in a letter from the royal family accepting her contribution for the wedding, China Daily reported citing media reports.

Zhu went to Jingdezhen in eastern China`s Jiangxi province and spent 10 days meeting renowned masters of porcelain about designing the tea set that would "wish the best for the lovers" and display Chinese traditional culture.

She picked a hexagonal design in a blue and white rice pattern. The names - William and Kate - are engraved on the surface, and the teapot and cups are decorated with intricate patterns of plum blossoms, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo.

The four plants are regarded as the "four gentlemen of great virtues" in Chinese culture, and frequently featured in paintings to express loftiness, righteousness, modesty and purity.

Zhu has named the tea set "Dian Xi".

In the novel "The Dream of Red Mansions", author Cao Xueqin describes a drinking vessel used by one of the principal characters as "Dian Xi".

The name can also be traced to a poem by the late Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin (813-858 A.D.) that indicates mutual affinity and agreement.

Zhu wished William and Kate to be attached to each other and live a happy life.

"With this tea set, I want to congratulate the royal couple and also hope it can be the medium for a cultural exchange between the West and East," she said.

William will marry Kate in London April 29.