Prince Charles visits St Albans jeweller
- Credit: Photo by Yvonne Chakraborty
The Prince of Wales has paid a special visit to a St Albans jeweller, who presented him with a pair of Magna Carta cufflinks created in honour of the iconic charter’s 800th anniversary.
Fiona Rae, a goldsmith who lives on the outskirts of St Albans, hosted the heir to the throne at her studio and shop based in a courtyard at historic Hatfield House.
Visiting on a sunny day, and drawing a curious crowd, Prince Charles was told how silver dishes, cufflinks and other items were made.
Fiona said: “We were absolutely thrilled and honoured that the Prince of Wales took time out of his schedule to come and visit us at our shop in Stable Yard Hatfield House.
“There was much excitement in the courtyard whilst people gathered to catch a glimpse of HRH. It was a wonderful surprise for our customers and visitors on this special day.”
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The jewellery designer received a Royal Warrant from Prince Charles 14 years ago and has made many silver and enamel gifts for him over the past 23 years.
Prince Charles’s visit to Fiona’s shop was part of a tour of Hatfield House, with its owners Lord and Lady Salisbury.
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He spent some time looking around her studio and visited her workshop to see enamelling being done on site.
Fiona said that her Magna Carta cufflinks and pins were special pieces created in celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
St Albans claims a unique place in the history of the charter as back in 1213, barons and clergy met at St Albans Abbey to discuss severe grievances against King John.
That historic meeting eventually led to the articles that became Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in 1215.
Prince Charles recently marked the charter’s anniversary when he opened an exhibition at the British Library, where he said principles of Magna Carta are still of vital importance today.
Back in 1990 Fiona, a member of the British Society of Enamellers, was awarded a Princes Trust loan after graduating from Central St Martins.
Two years ago she was invited to exhibit at the Buckingham Palace Coronation Festival.