13th March 2012 – The Duke of York visits the Emma Willis Factory.

Duke of York today visited Gloucestershire to see first hand the important work that local organisations are undertaking to support and promote business development and entrepreneurial activity in the area.

His Royal Highness was particularly interested to hear about the efforts of local businesses to develop the skills of young people through training and apprenticeships.  His Royal Highness began his visit at Bespoke shirt maker Emma Willis at her small factory at the Cross in Gloucester to learn more about her work.

Owner Emma Willis said: “We were all thrilled to have a Royal visit from the Duke of York today, accompanied by our Lord Lieutenant Dame Trotter, to mark the second anniversary of the opening of our Gloucester Factory.  I introduced His Royal Highness to my cutter Norman Nairne, supervisor Kathleen Muir, and the ladies who make up the team of ten.  The Duke of york then watched Norman cut a shirt, and the ladies sew, button and button hole, end, press and fold a shirt, while asking about their skills and techniques.  The interest that His Royal Highness paid to their careful, highly skilled work was greatly appreciated.  For a member of the British Royal family to be clearly impressed by the beautifully made product they are creating, was an incomparable morale boost”.

The Duke of York was then introduced to two young members of staff who are currently being trained by Emma Willis before discussing the company’s “Shirts for Soldiers” charity campaign with Captains Alex Horsfall and Edmund Addington of The Rifles.