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Former QEGS pupil helped make Royal dress

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 04, 2011

Jenny Adin-Christie

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A FORMER Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School pupil was in the team that created Catherine Middleton’s world-famous wedding dress.

Jenny Adin-Christie, now a tutor at the Royal School of Needlework, has spoken of the exhaustive hours her team had to put in to hand-make the dress millions of people were desperate to see.

The operation to keep details of the new Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress away from the public eye meant the team were not told they were working on a Royal commission or who the designer was.

Mrs Adin-Christie, 33, a freelance tutor who studied at the prestigious school after leaving QEGS, said: “All we knew was that somebody had approached the Royal School of Needlework to see if such a big project could be completed in such a short space of time.

“We had no idea who it was for, or who the designer was, but we did work out that it was the Royal Wedding dress.

“We were sworn to secrecy, we all had to sign contracts. I couldn’t even tell my husband, which was tricky when you’re always working such late hours.” After training at the Royal School of Needlework, Mrs Adin-Christie worked as a tutor for 11 years before becoming a freelance embroiderer, taking on commissions herself and tutoring at the Hampton Court school.

The mother of one worked on the bodice of the dress and continued right up to the big day on Friday when she watched the wedding from her home in Surrey.

After the wedding had taken place and the dress had finally been unveiled she was able to take a break and headed back to Ashbourne — where she was born and raised — to relax with her parents, John and Janet, in Chestnut Drive.

Speaking after watching one of the most hotly anticipated fashion unveilings in history on television, she described how it felt to be involved in such a significant Royal event.

She said: “It felt incredible. Everyone on the team was totally over joyed to be doing it.

“We’ve all trained and worked so hard and for so many years to do what we do and this is the best way to put it into practice.

“It’s got to be every embroiderer’s dream come true.” The bespoke lace on the wedding dress, veil and shoes was designed by Sarah Burton, but the team of artisans that turned the design into a finished product were not told that until shortly before the wedding.

The team selected for the project included British, Japanese, American, Chinese, Swiss, Dutch, Thai, German and Slovakian students and their tutors.

The artisans were told to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine and needles were changed every three hours.

Only short lengths of thread were used, each no longer than 30cm and, to maintain an even appearance, no securing knots were used.

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