Presentation of a Bespoke Ladies’ Fan to HRH The Duchess of Sussex

Written by Past Master Dr Michael Smith on March 27, 2019

In keeping with tradition since the time of HM Queen Victoria, on particular occasions the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers present a unique fan to Members of The Royal Family.  Consequently, following her marriage to HRH The Duke of Sussex last year, the Master (Dr Jeffrey Bines), the Immediate Past Master (Dr Michael Smith) and the Clerk (Martin Davies Esq) attended Kensington Palace earlier this month and presented a specially made ladies’ hand fan to HRH The Duchess of Sussex.

The double-sided fan was designed by Denise Frankel, a Liveryman of the Fan Makers’ Company, and Janis Sher, the first fan makers to be established, in accordance with our Royal Charter, “within the 20 miles around the Cities of London and Westminster” for over 100 years.  The fan leaves are of the finest Duchess silk decorated with Chantilly lace.

The fan frame was created from mother-of-pearl and engraved, and gilded in gold, with the joint monogram of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on one stick of the facing side.  The reverse side of the stick has the engraved name of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers and, gilded in gold, our Company’s crest. Holding the sticks together is a pink sapphire set in rose gold.  The silk fan sleeve was hand-made by Lorraine Smith.

Courtesy of David Batchelor Esq, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Turners, accompanying the fan is a bespoke casket turned from spalted sweet chestnut from Merton College, Oxford, the ends and trim of which are made from African blackwood recycled from the woodwind musical industry.  The casket was designed and hand-crafted by Reginald Hawthorne, Master-in-Turning.

Bespoke Ladies' Fan Presented to HRH The Duchess of Sussex