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The Duchess of Cornwall learns hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework

By Mark Hayhurst 23 Nov 2017

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the Royal School of Needlework (RSN), visited the internationally renowned hand embroidery specialists yesterday for the first time since taking over the patronage from Her Majesty The Queen in January 2017.

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the RSN’s base at Hampton Court Palace with The Duchess of Gloucester, President of the Royal School of Needlework. 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 and 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’.

Eleanor Latham, who is a Second Year Student on the RSN’s Degree in Hand Embroidery in Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art met The Duchess of Cornwall: “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.”

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, the RSN chief executive said: “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.”

During the visit, the Royal School of Needlework 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.

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