Last year, Cheryl Cole/Fernandez-Versini had her waxwork removed from the main exhibition at Madame Tussauds, and we thought that was big waxy news. But it pales in significance now that it transpires Prince Wax Harry and Meghan Wax Markle have also been removed from the main exhibition following their demi-abdication from royal life.
It's entirely possible that the couple have been moved into their own section away from the wider royal family display. It seems unlikely that they've been shipped to Blackpool with Cheryl, but who knows?
If you're imagining a big vat of wax with a load of perfect teeth floating on top, you can stop. Removed celebs get put into storage, not melted down as we feared.
We spoke with the team at Madame Tussauds to ask them all sorts of nosy questions about celebrity waxworks in general.
What happens when someone is awarded a wax work? Do they get massively excited about it?
Although our discussions with celebrities are private and confidential – they do get excited. We introduce a limited number of new figures to the attraction every year and a lot of time goes in to choosing and creating each latest addition. We believe it is a huge honour to be included and definitely something to be excited about.
How long does it take to make a celebrity figure?
A figure typically takes three to four months to create by a team of around 20 skilled artists. It is certainly no small task as it’s all done by hand, using the same methods and techniques used by Marie Tussaud herself.
Do they get any say in what they’re wearing or how they’re posed?
We always welcome any ideas, contributions or even donations from celebrities – though it's not always possible due to busy schedules which we completely understand, and in those instances we make the decisions. You can spot quite a few pieces of clothing in attraction that have been generously given to us - Boris Johnson's suit for example. Will.i.am and Dua Lipa donated their whole looks as well as helping us choose their figure’s pose.
How do you decide to get rid of a figure?
We react to the celebrity landscape and so often move figures around within the attraction, take them off the floor altogether or include figures for an exclusive, time-limited appearance.
Kim Kardashian-West, for example, used to be in our A-List Party with her husband but she’s now posing alongside her sister, Kendall Jenner, in our Fashion Week experience while Kanye is in our Music zone. Or Boris Johnson – he was off the floor for some time after doing a stint as Mayor of London, but he's now back in our Downing Street set as Prime Minister, replacing Theresa May’s figure.
There are 24 Madame Tussauds locations worldwide so sometimes a celebrity not featured in London will be included elsewhere – such as Cheryl’s figure in Blackpool – or another celebrity’s figure will make a guest appearance at Madame Tussauds London before moving on to a sister attraction, such as our recent Zendaya residency.
Do you tell the celebrity that they’re being removed?
We are constantly updating what guests can expect to see at Madame Tussauds London – introducing new figures, unveiling new experiences or reflecting the latest celebrity news – and so it’s not uncommon for figures to be moved or taken off the attraction floor.
It wouldn’t be possible to keep all teams up to date with their movements. The showbiz world is ever-changing and so are we!
What happens to the actual celebrity figure. Is it melted down? Or sold to a collector? Or remolded to be a different celebrity?
We don't EVER melt our figures - this is a myth, and we're not quite sure where it came from! We store them in our (extensive!) archives.