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It’s in the bag: Princess Anne visits Leicester manufacturer

As part of her role as the President of the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT), Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited Zatchels Factory this week. The factory visit was a part of the UKFT “Let’s Make It Here” campaign, promoting products made in the UK.  Zatchels factory, established in 2011, is located in Charter Street in Leicester and they manufacture leather bags, which are sold in the US, Far East as well as all over Europe.

What makes Zatchels Factory so special is that each bag is hand-made by the 65 employees. Spending more than an hour in the factory, the Princess Royal met with many employees as well as Dean Clarke, co-owner and founder is Zatchels. Mr Clarke said of the visit, “It’s a privilege to have Her Royal Highness visit. The day has gone fantastically well. It is really about the work force and the hard work they have put in over the last few years. We are really pleased. It is very special to the company and its staff.”

He wasn’t alone in his sentiment, for Phil James, a product inspector at Zatchels, is due to retire in a week and found it to be a great privilege to meet The Princess Royal. He said: “She asked about my job – we were talking for about five minutes.”

Many other employees were not only happy, but overwhelmed to see Princess Anne in their factory. Some also shared their surprise about how personable The Princess Royal was. Angela Dudman, a machinist at Zatchels, said, ““I was not too nervous at the start but when she was standing behind me and I could hear her talking that is when the nerves kicked in. Actually being able to talk to royalty was very good. She was really down to earth which is not what I expected.

Before Princess Anne left the factory, she unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit. As she unveiled the plaque, she joked to the crowd that she hoped she wasn’t causing too much trouble for the factory with her visit.

While visiting Leicester, Princess Anne also visited Kibworth Golf Course and the Gartree Prison.

Featured photo credit: The Open University (OU) via photopin cc

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