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Royal seal of approval for local craftsman

A Newtownabbey artisan may not have been able to make it to Westminster Abbey to see Prince William and Kate tie the knot last week — but he did manage to make the ‘Royal box’.

Ian Hawthorne, who runs his specialist box making business, Hawthorne Crafts, with his wife Kate in Glengormley, was “delighted” when a customer approached him with the commission to make the happy couple a wedding gift.

Mr Hawthorne is no stranger to celebrity commissions, having made retired Labour MP Tony Benn a tobacco box and a pen set for HRH Prince Charles.

Mr Hawthorne told the Community Telegraph: “ I am absolutely thrilled to have created this commemorative gift box and wish the happy couple all the very best in their future lives together. We were chosen to make this unique presentation box because our attitude to crafting perfection, with precision and care, reflects our customer’s own approach to making their products.”

Joe Kelly, director of Craft NI said: “It's fantastic to see this high quality contemporary craft piece from Northern Ireland being given at such a prestigious and historic occasion.”

Belfast Telegraph