Café refurbishment reveals royal connection with Buckingham Palace and Alnwick Castle

Letters from Alnwick Castle and Buckingham Palace were found during the creation of new historical displays at Otterburn Mill.

By Joshua Wright
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 1:20 pm

The discovery was made whilst the staff at were refurbishing the café named ‘Rena’s Country Kitchen’ and were going through the business’ archives.

They shared the royal discovery to coincide with the Queen’s 96th birthday and upcoming platinum jubilee.

One of the letters, dated 3rd July 1923, was sent to thank Otterburn Mill for sending the suit length of Otterburn Tweed to the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The letter sent on behalf of the Queen Mother, Princesses Elizabeth, and Margaret.

He is said to have been approving of it, and even remarked on the so called "fine quality” of the material that the little mill had become known for.

The second letter was dated from 30th March 1939, and was sent to confirm the selection of seven yards of material by the Queen Mother, to make kilts for Princesses Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret.

She also requested a second pattern to make a jacket and skirt.

Copies of the letters have been put on display.

Rena's Country Kitchen's display of historical royal letters.

These letters are not the only connection Otterburn Mill has to the monarchy.

In 1926 Buckingham Palace reached out to request a custom-made pram rug for the royal pram of Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II).

These rugs soon became one of the mill’s most popular products, and gifting an Otterburn Pram Rug to new-borns soon became a long enduring tradition that continues to this day.

The café is open from 9am- 4pm, seven days a week.

A letter sent on behalf of the Prince of Wales, 1923.