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Manx Loaghtan fleeces used for royal teddy bears

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WOOL from the rare breed of sheep that roam the north coast has gone into producing special hand-made gifts for the Prince of Wales’ grandchildren.

Prince Charles is presented with teddy bears made from Manx Loaghtan sheep wool by Donna Le Marrec as fellow National Trust for Jersey staff members Jo Stansfield and Sarah Hill look on

Teddy bears, named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children, George, Charlotte and Louis, were presented to Prince Charles last week at the Royal Cornwall Show by National Trust for Jersey marketing and events manager Donna Le Marrec.

The identical soft toys were knitted by Genuine Jersey craftswoman, Irene Dawkins, using yarn made from fleeces of Manx Loaghtan sheep.

Mrs Le Marrec, and fellow trust staff members Jo Stansfield and Sarah Hill, were invited to meet the Prince after taking part in a special parade of 350 people from 59 countryside organisations of which he is patron.

It is one of four being organised by the Prince’s Countryside Fund at major country shows in the UK this summer to celebrate his 70th birthday in November. The fund was set up by Prince Charles in 2010 to celebrate and promote the values and traditions of the countryside, and to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.

Mrs Le Marrec says the trust informed the Prince’s office at Clarence House ahead of the trip to Cornwall asking if they could make a special presentation to him to give to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

‘We were invited to present him with the bears by a member of his staff and when I handed them to him he asked me if I had made them, but I had to say no,’ she said. ‘However, I did say to him that I hoped he has a happy birthday in November. He was smiling all the time and I found him to be very charming.’

Each teddy bear, which were tucked up in a presentation box as if they were in bed, had a label attached with their name, how they were made, and information about the Manx Loagthan grazing project.

Prince Charles attended the Royal Cornwall Show with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. It takes place over three days in early June at the Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge – a market town on the River Camel between Padstow and Bodmin.

The event – the biggest to take place in the county – celebrates food and farming in Cornwall, rural crafts, activities and Cornish heritage. Mrs Stansfield was also presented to the Prince – but at the time she was wearing a puffin suit to represent the mascot of the National Trust’s Coastline Campaign in the birthday parade.

‘He asked her if it was hot inside the suit,’ Mrs Le Marrec said. ‘To which Jo replied “quite”.’

Paula Thelwell

By Paula Thelwell
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