Regal living museum in Te Aroha villa

Regal living museum in Te Aroha villa

Queen's Birthday weekend is finally upon us and for many that means three days off for a chance to relax.

That's not the case for royalists Bill and Angela Thompson, who are gearing up for a busy couple of days running their royal family living museum.

It's a world away from London but the Thompsons are bringing a little bit of Buckingham Palace to Te Aroha.

Step through their front door and you're greeted by thousands of pieces of royal memorabilia -- around 8000, to be exact.

"Everything is dated from 1837 and it goes right up to current," Ms Thompson says.

It's hard not to feel just a little bit regal. There's royal themed china, tea sets, trinkets and even hand-painted menus used during the Queen's visit in 1953.

The couple say half the time they find the memorabilia, and the other half it finds them.

"One year I was at Pukekohe swap meet because cars are another thing that I'm into, and I came across a Queen Victoria jug which I didn't have," Mr Thompson says.

Each and every piece is laced with history, and has its own story to tell.

"It gets tucked away in a box, it gets forgotten and suddenly we have it," Ms Thompson says.

"And it's the most special feeling because you can feel it and know that it's had a history."

The Thompsons have been together for 14 years, but their fascination with royalty started when they were young.

The couple ran the famous Corogate café in Thames before health troubles forced them to close in 2014.

They packed everything up and, one year ago on Friday, moved into a Te Aroha villa.

They call it their "living museum", and opened up for tours in April.

"We'll be taking 12 to 16 people at a time," Ms Thompson says. "They'll have to book."

"Here we can actually take the time to explain what it's all about to people and point out different items that we just didn't have the time to do in the café," Mr Thompson says.

The couple marked the Queen's official birthday with an event in April, but say they'll also be celebrating this weekend.

There's even a birthday card and a video ready to make their way to Buckingham Palace.

It's a right royal birthday tea time in Te Aroha.