Presentation of fans to Royalty
Ever since the Company presented Queen Victoria with a fan on her Diamond Jubilee it has become a custom to present fans to Lady members of the Royal Family to mark their marriage or other special event.
The most recent presentations were to Sophie, Countess of Wessex on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on her marriage to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on her marriage to Prince William. On each occasion the recipient was invited to sign the leaf of The Royal Autograph Fan, one of the Company’s most cherished possessions.
1897 – The prize-winning fan from the Company’s exhibition was presented by the Fan Maker’s Company to Queen Victoria to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. It was constructed of Maltese lace, cream silk and gold thread, made by Lizzie Oldroyd from Kent, with gold inlaid ivory sticks by Robert Gleeson; both were members of the Fan Makers’ Company.
1902 – The Company presented a lace fan to Queen Alexandra for her Coronation with King Edward VII. Its symbols included crossed A’s, plus crown, monogram, shamrock, rose and thistle.
1910 – The Company presented a Honiton lace fan to Queen Mary on the Coronation of George V, designed by George Wooliscroft Read and made by Mrs Fowler. It contained the family shields on either side, plus the cipher GM and a royal crown and garter.
1922 – A fan was presented to The Princess Royal on her marriage to the Earl of Harewood.
1937 – Master Heywood presented a Honiton lace fan to Queen Elizabeth for her coronation with George VI, with lace by Miss Ward, Mrs Fowler’s niece.
1947 – An antique fan from the Louis XV period, painted on chicken skin and with mother-of-pearl sticks and inlaid gold, was presented at Buckingham Palace to Princess Elizabeth on her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh.
1948 – The Duchess of Gloucester received a fan on gaining the Freedom of the Company.
1952 – On the opening of the Company’s Hall, the Duchess of Gloucester received a fan.
1953 – At Buckingham Palace Master George Pykett MC presented to Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation a specially commissioned fan made entirely from products from the Commonwealth, including ostrich feathers from South Africa, and tortoise shell mount from Jamaica inlaid with diamonds from British Guiana. The fan was designed and made by Liveryman Charles Beale-Gunner who made various fans for Royalty including the Queen of Holland, the Kind of Egypt and Princess Mary.
1960 – A fan was presented to Princess Margaret on her marriage to the Earl of Snowden.
1963 – Princess Alexandra received an 18th century European fan on her marriage to Mr Angus Ogilvy (later the Earl of Airlie).
1972 – Presentation of a fan to Princess Richard of Gloucester on her marriage, at a Livery dinner at the Mansion House by Master A Fowles.
1974 – Princess Anne received a fan on her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips.
1981 – Lady Diana Spencer received a fan on her marriage to the Prince of Wales.
1985 – Presentation to Diana, Princess of Wales, as special guest at the Mansion House dinner.
1986 – Presentation to Miss Sara Ferguson on her marriage to Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
1999 – Sophie Rhys-Jones received a special edition of the Company’s Millennium fan and an 18th century silk fan with ivory sticks on her marriage to Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex.
2006 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall presented with a fan by Master Tony O’Hagan following her marriage to the Prince of Wales.
2012 – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge presented with a fan by Master Jim Moore following her marriage to Prince William
2012 – Her Majesty the Queen presented with an English fan made to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee (as did Queen Victoria in 1897)
Presentation to the Lady Mayoress
A second custom associated with the presentation of fans is to the Lady Mayoress before the Company’s Livery Dinner at the Mansion House each year.