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Prince Charles & Camilla attend the launch of London Craft Week & visit St Brides Church and Foundation

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were in London on Thursday attending an engagement together before embarking on separate engagements later in the day.

The first event of the day was a visit to The Art Worker’s Guild to meet with craftspeople and their apprentices. During their visit, they met Kathryn Sargent, the first woman to hold the title of Head Cutter at a Savile Row tailor. Sargent, appointed Head Cutter in 2009, spent 15 years at Gieves and Hawkes at No.1 Savile Row.

Charles and Camilla also met with the founders of the first cloth mill to open in London in over 100 years.

Charles, an ardent supporter in the preservation and promotion of crafts and traditional skills, runs several programmes through the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, for which he is President.

The Royal couple last visited the The Art Workers’ Guild in 2004.

The Art Workers Guild (AWG) began in 1884 to enhance education in all the visual arts and crafts by means of lectures, meetings, demonstrations, discussions and to promote and uphold high standards of design and craftsmanship in all areas of the visual arts and crafts.

The impetus of the Arts and Craft Movement in Britain, The AWG helped to encourage similar movements elsewhere in Europe and North America.

A new annual event, London Craft week highlights aspires to present the talent, people and techniques behind exquisitely made objects to a broader audience.

As part of London Craft Week, The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community will be hosting a photography retrospective organised by the Heritage Crafts Association featuring craftspeople from around the country.

The Heritage Crafts Association is a supporting partner of London Craft Week.

Charles and his wife departed for separate engagements following the Craft Week event.

Prince Charles visited the St Bride Foundation where he met with staff to learn more about the work the charity is undertaking. Visiting the library and community facilities, he met with a young apprentice trained by the Foundation in the use of traditional printing methods and discuss ed how to keep the traditional skills flourishing.

In honour of his visit, Prince Charles used a traditional printing press to create a commemorative print.

The St Bride Foundation, established in 1891, afforded a social, cultural and recreational centre for London’s Fleet Street and its growing print and publishing trade.

The historic site is once again a hub of activity, with new projects, facilities and programmes increasing its central mission: to excite and inspire.

Camilla visited St Bride’s Church, toured the building’s Crypt Museum and attended a reception.

St Brides is the church of the media and the press founded by King Edward III in 1375.

The Great Fire of 1666 decimated the church. With Christopher Wren heading up the rebuilding, St Brides rose from the ashes like a phoenix after a nine-year rebuilding scheme.

In 1940, as German bombs destroyed the city, St Brides ended up the causality war, becoming a roofless shell. It would take 17 years to rebuild. In 1953, as excavations were underway during the rebuilding, medieval archaeologist Professor W. F. Grimes discovered the foundations of all six of the previous churches on site.

On 19th December 1957, on the anniversary of the church being opened for worship 282 years previously, the re-dedication of St Bride’s took place with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in attendance.

In 1975, to commemorate the Guilds 600th anniversary, Prince Charles attended a service of thanksgiving at St Bride’s.

The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of the Guild of St Bride in 2012.

Featured photo credit: Prince Charles & Camilla via photopin (license)

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