The Princess Royal visited Salford on Wednesday 17th September. The Royal visit was to Private White VC, one of the few remaining clothing manufacturers in the UK, as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association.
Anne was greeted by Managing Director James Eden, great-grandson of Private Jack White, the founder of the company. Jack White was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1917, and returned from the war to Manchester, becoming an apprentice and eventually the owner of the store; the company began specialising in woollen garments with a Yorkshire influence, as opposed to the traditional Lancashire cotton raincoats and mackintoshes.
The company was acquired by Mr White’s great-grandchildren over 60 years after his death, continuing the region’s legacy of fabric and garment creation, which began in the Industrial Revolution.
Princess Anne then took a tour of the factory, which is a 19th century building, and she saw her witness the product creation process from beginning to end, including the design of the piece on paper, right the way to the sewing and finishing of the garment.
She spoke with members of staff, discussing the importance of UK garment creators, which her role as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association is keen to promote.
Anne also officially opened the company’s store to the public, allowing them to purchase the company’s wears on-site, which was designed by the company’s Creative Director.
Later in the day, Anne visited Manchester City Football Club, to see the clubs work with a ‘City in the Community’ project, aiming to strengthen community ties, and the ‘One City’ project, helping disabled people get involved in sport. The Princess wrapped up her day by speaking with a former soldier, Mike Swindells, who is a key part of the football club’s; Swindells was injured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED.
Photos: Private White VC