Pupils revive tradition to send gift to prince

A school in the heart of Northumberland has revived a tradition by sending an Otterburn Mill pram rug to the newly-born royal baby.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 7:00 am
Otterburn First School have sent a gift to the new prince, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the help of Otterburn Mill.

After Buckingham Palace announced that the Duchess of Sussex had given birth to a baby boy, Otterburn First School sent the gift to the new prince, with the help of the mill.

The children also created some paintings and drawings to celebrate the birth of the Royal baby and these have been wrapped up with an Otterburn Baby Rug.

The pupils' artwork and the Otterburn Baby Rug.

In 1926, following the birth of Princess Elizabeth (our current monarch), Royal patronage for Otterburn Mill was extended as Buckingham Palace requested a custom-made rug for the Royal pram.

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The Royal love affair with Otterburn tweeds, woollens and rugs began many years before the birth of our Queen when her great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, was on a visit that included Alnwick Castle and was presented with a specially made, hand-spun travel rug from Otterburn Mill.

It is also believed that the initial idea for the pram rug was suggested by Queen Alexandra herself.

From the same product run that produced our Queen’s very own rug, there were 20 or so rugs left over, which were purchased by Mr Fenwick of Fenwick’s of Newcastle, a regular client of Otterburn Mill at the time.

To his surprise he sold out in two weeks. This was the start of the Otterburn Pram Rug, which is still made today.

Otterburn Mill is proud of this ancestry and today this heritage is woven into every baby blanket produced.

Over the years, the rugs have remained largely unchanged and are still woven in Great Britain using the classic design and only top quality pure new wool.

Otterburn Mill had been owned by generations of the Waddell family from 1821 to 1995, after William Waddell of Jedburgh eloped with his young bride Charlotte Ferrier to the remote village of Otterburn and set up business.

Many years later, Rena Waddell followed in the footsteps of her ancestors and took charge of design and marketing at Otterburn Mill. During this period, Otterburn produced tweeds which were adopted by such notable fashion houses as Dior and garments were often featured on the cover of top magazines such as Vogue.

Rena Waddell also continued the success of the baby rug. The mill is now owned by Euan and Ann Pringle, who joined forces with Otterburn First School to send the perfect gift to the Royal new-born.