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Royal flowers for a royal dressmaker

Patients at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney were thrilled to receive a stunning bouquet of flowers from the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
 
None more so than 89 year old Pauline Clayton, a respite patient at St Joseph’s Hospice, who at the age of 19 while working for royal dressmaker Norman Hartnell, helped to embroider the 15 foot Boticelli inspired train of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding dress.

Pauline said, “We were on rationing then so we weren’t allowed to sew on any embellishments so the train was embroidered. There were four of us girls working on it and we earned 49 and a half hours overtime doing that! I really liked working for the Queen Mother and I helped to make many of her dresses during my 20 year career with Norman Hartnell. With my royal connections it’s such a lovely coincidence to be at St Joseph’s and receive these wedding flowers, they are beautiful and very special.”

St Joseph’s has a long history of royal connections having been visited by the Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and most recently Prince Edward who came to tour the gardens in 2015.

The flowers, designed by Philippa Craddock, were made into beautiful hand tied bouquets and delivered to St Joseph’s the day after the wedding.

Nigel Harding, Chief Executive of St Joseph’s Hospice said, “We are so excited and honoured to receive this wonderful gift, it really feels like we’re part of the royal wedding. The flowers are simply stunning and our patients were both surprised and delighted to receive them. A huge thank you to Philippa Craddock and her team and of course to the Royal bride and groom.”

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