The Duchesses of Cornwall and Gloucester Visit

6th December, 2017

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, our Patron, visited us on 22 November for the first time since taking over the patronage from Her Majesty The Queen in January 2017. The Duchess of Cornwall visited us at Hampton Court Palace with The Duchess of Gloucester, our President.

The Duchess of Cornwall received a short tutorial in hand embroidery learning the traditional technique of Jacobean Crewelwork.

RSN Tutor Jacqui McDonald said: “I taught The Duchess of Cornwall Fly Stitch which is one of the stitches used in Jacobean Crewelwork. Jacobean Crewelwork is the first technique we teach our Certificate & Diploma students. Her Royal Highness was a quick learner and would make a natural stitcher! I very much hope she returns soon for a full lesson.”

The royal visitors also met with staff, students and volunteers, and enjoyed a tour of the RSN’s Education Department, Embroidery Studio and the current exhibition, ‘Embellishment in Fashion’.

Sally Killingback, RSN Certificate Student said: “It was a privilege to meet The Duchess of Cornwall. She told me that her mother was very good at needlework and she wished she could be more like her in that respect! We both shared fond memories of our grandmothers with drawers full of needlework samples.”

Eleanor Latham, Degree Student said: “We talked about my work and the colour scheme I had chosen which matched her outfit! It was such a fantastic opportunity to meet a member of the Royal Family.”

Megan Foxlow, Degree Student said: “At first I was really nervous but The Duchess of Gloucester talked so passionately about needlework and my work that she really put me at ease. I talked to her about the tassel making I had been working on and The Duchess was really interested in the techniques I had used.”

During the visit, the RSN presented The Duchess of Cornwall with a bespoke velvet cushion for her hatpins, embroidered by their expert Embroidery Studio. The cushion was embroidered with a cluster of Goldwork acorns from the Cornish Oak Tree.

The Duchess of Gloucester, who is a keen needlewoman, received a limited edition strawberry shaped needle cleaner, embroidered to celebrate 30 years of the RSN being based at Hampton Court Palace.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, the RSN Chief Executive commented: “It was wonderful that our students, staff, volunteers and supporters could meet Their Royal Highnesses, not only to showcase some of the innovative and beautiful work they are creating, but also to demonstrate how they are using this traditional art in such a dynamic and contemporary way.”