Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Prince sees how his shirts are made

Prince Charles sat behind a sewing machine when he visited the factory of his favourite shirt maker, Turnbull & Asser

The Prince of Wales turned tailor when he tried his hand at making a shirt.

Charles sat behind a sewing machine when he visited the factory of his favourite shirt maker, Turnbull & Asser, sealing a 40-year relationship with the business.

The company has been making the items of clothing for the heir to the throne since January 1973 and were one of the first firms to be granted a royal warrant by Charles in 1980.

Turnbull & Asser made Winston Churchill's siren suit, which he dubbed his "romper suit", and have made shirts for every lead actor of the James Bond films, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.

Charles accepted the offer of operating a sewing machine as he was shown around the factory by twin sisters Kath Cope and Bette Elton, who began working for the company in the 1960s.

With rows of female workers sat behind him he carefully placed the cloth under the needle. Charles concentrated on the job at hand and fed the material through as the machine whirred away and then laughed as he completed his task.

Ms Cope later praised his efforts, she said: "I think he did pretty well really, especially for a first attempt. I'd give him a seven out of 10."

Steven Miller, Turnbull & Asser's managing director, said: "This is a very proud day for all of us at the company. It was an honour that the Prince visited, it supports the tradition of shirt making in Gloucestershire and the British manufacturing industry as a whole.

"Our staff are just brilliant and this visit celebrates them, some of them have been with us for 36 years. We're all proud to work for this great company."

Earlier in the day the Prince re-opened a community store in nearby Uley which had been saved from closure by residents. During his visit Charles was greeted by about 300 members of the village and was presented with a cake and two mugs, one for him and one for his wife.

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