The Merino wool blanket that is Australia’s present to Princess Charlotte has been completed and is ready for delivery to Princess Charlotte
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott received the woollen blanket at Parliament House earlier today. “I really appreciate all the work that you’ve done and I think it’s really splendid,” he said. “I hope that one happy Princess is to sleep under this and one happy Princess is reminded of Australia.”
The blanket made from Tasmanian Merino wool, which is thought to be finer and softer than any other kind of wool, features wattle emblems that have been hand stitched by the ACT Embroiderers Guild.
Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia. The bright yellow flowers are reminiscent of the ones on the dress worn by The Duchess of Cambridge when she left the hospital with newborn Princess Charlotte.
The ACT Embroiderer’s Guild is a non-profit organisation for anyone who is interested in embroidery. The members of the Guild get together to share their knowledge, try new things and support each other, with the aim to be a centre for excellence in embroidery and needlework.
Di Ballantyne, the President of the Guild, said that they were thrilled to be entrusted with such an important job, but struggled to come up with a design worthy of a Princess at such short notice.
“The couple [of designs] we were looking at initially were copyright issues and again because of the timeframe, we felt and agreed we didn’t have time to go and actually sort that out so we were asked to actually develop our own design,” she said.
“We were very surprised, and particularly since we’re one of the smaller guilds,” Ms Ballantyne added. “But it was just a real thrill, a surprise and an honour.”
The ladies of the Guild worked from morning to evening for many days in order to have the blanket ready on time but were extremely pleased with the finished product.
“We hope they enjoy putting little Charlotte under her blanket and it will keep her warm in the cold English winters, and that she might come out to Australia to actually see the wattles and things when she’s a bit bigger,” Ms Ballantyne said.
Since her birth, last weekend, Princess Charlotte has received a number of gifts from around the world, including baby clothes and teddy bears. In addition to the blanket, Australia will also be donating 10,000 Australian dollars to The Healesville Sanctuary on The Princess’s behalf, to support its mountain pygmy-possum breeding programme.
Photo Credit: Emily Nash @emynash