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Prince of Wales opens the new Burberry headquarters
30
Oct '09
The Prince of Wales opened the new global headquarters of British fashion house Burberry.

The Prince, who gave the luxury brand a royal warrant for outfitting in 1990, officially opened the firm's new global headquarters at Horseferry House in London.

The Prince told staff: "I think it's a really good, worthwhile British flagship company that clearly has a remarkable brand image all around the world.

"I think it's remarkable you have managed to maintain that and improve even more on the reputation."

The Prince was given a tour of the Burberry archives and took great interest in past designs, some of which he seemed to recognise.

He was also shown a yellow trench coat, one of 12 made for the 1990 film Dick Tracy starring Warren Beatty, and told Burberry's creative director Christopher Bailey: "I love the colour."

The Prince waved at the members of staff who watched from balconies overlooking the archives during the tour.

The Prince, who wore a dark blue suit, showed he had an eye for style when he asked one employee if her high heels gave her backache.

"You have to suffer for fashion," he said.

A £195 cashmere snood in beige, black and red check also caught his eye. He asked what the circular scarf was for, seemed amused by its name but added: "They are quite useful for skiing."

The Prince was shown a new online facility for Burberry fans which will next month allow them to post photos of themselves in their trench coats.

Pictures from all over the world of adults and children showing how they wear their Burberry coat have already been posted on the site Art Of The Trench which will also allow shoppers to order a custom-made coat.

The Prince said it seems that many families passed down the classic designs from one generation to the next and was told that had happened in the family of Emma Watson, the Harry Potter actress who now models for the brand.

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts today announced that the firm's charity arm, the Burberry Foundation, is supporting The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.

The grant will link secondary schools in London with the Fashion and Textile Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of London.

The Prince said: "It raises my spirits enormously that you are prepared to support this.

"You have to inspire young people. Perhaps some of them will become inspired enough to start working for Burberry.

"I will watch with fascination if I'm still alive!"

Burberry employs around 2,000 people in the UK, a third of its global workforce.

The Prince added: "I thank you for the marvellous contribution you make to the country and its reputation."

The Prince was in a jovial mood throughout the visit, and joked with one member of staff that his computer screen was blank: "I knew I'd find one!"

As well as a cashmere scarf in Burberry's trademark check, made in Elgin, Scotland, The Prince received a gabardine walking jacket made at the Burberry factory in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

Prince of Wales


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