Gifts Today magazine

A royal visit for Robert Welch

HRH The Princess Royal visits Robert Welch Designs in Chipping Campden, UK, to mark the company's 60th anniversary and present the 2016 Queen's Award

The team at Robert Welch Designs were delighted to host Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at their design studio and Chipping Campden headquarters. HRH was in attendance to mark the 60th anniversary of the award-winning design company and to present the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Introduction to design
During a tour of the studio, Design Director Paul deBretton Gordon and his team presented an overview of the design process to Her Royal Highness which included a series of designs in development and 3D printing prototypes, describing the progression of a new design. Senior Designer Kit deBretton Gordon used the design process of the Limbrey bowl to illustrate this; the bowl is based on a 1960s silver collection originally designed for Heal’s. Her Royal Highness was later presented with a Limbrey bowl by Robert Welch Life President Patricia Welch.

The Studio Shop
Escorted by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and Rupert and Alice Welch, The Princess Royal attended a reception held in the Robert Welch studio shop where she had the opportunity to meet members of the Robert Welch team, International distributors, trade customers and manufacturers. Many had travelled from across the globe to join with family and representatives of the local community to celebrate.

Official presentation
Shortly afterwards, the official presentation of the Queens Award for Enterprise took place, with Dame Janet Trotter praising Robert Welch Designs as a "wonderful organisation that all of us who have anything to do with fall in love with". She made reference to the application procedure and thanked the Robert Welch team for their hard work during the process. She referred to the Queen’s Awards as the Oscars of the business world and described Gloucestershire as a county that ‘punches above its weight’ when it comes to business, referencing the 6 Queen’s Awards won there in 2016.

Rupert Welch was presented with a commemorative crystal bowl and Alice Welch was handed the official QAE scroll. HRH was invited to unveil a plaque commemorating the visit. HRH delivered a short speech during which she wished Rupert and Alice best wishes for many years to come. 

A privilege
Speaking after the visit, Alice Welch said: “It was an absolute privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today who is so well informed in terms of design and so genuinely interested in our company and its history. 
"After the plaque had been unveiled we spent some time presenting the heritage wall in the studio shop, which documents my father’s design career. I think HRH was genuinely surprised to see a photo of her father presenting Robert with an award the 1950s!”

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