The Princess Royal honoured some of the longest-serving New Balance Flimby employees by presenting them with awards. Before departing, she was given special “HRH” trainers by Okolowicz.

“It is fantastic for HRH The Princess Royal to see the good work a global brand like New Balance is doing in West Cumbria, where it has been committed to locally-producing high-quality shoes in the UK since 1982,” said UKFT’s CEO, Adam Mansell.

“Now more than ever we need to invest in UK manufacturing and ensure we create the right environment and pipeline of new talent for the industry to thrive for many years to come.”

Over the years, Princess Anne has been a strong supporter of UK-made fashion and textile products. She has visited more than 100 manufacturers across the United Kingdom during her tenure as UKFT’s president, ranging from handbag companies to kilt manufacturers, and more.

The Duchess of Cambridge also holds a keen interest in textiles as patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was announced this week that the Duchess would further her knowledge in the coming months, “exploring her interest in the use and manufacture of textiles.”