Staff at Britain’s last remaining teddy bear manufacturer, Merrythought, rubbed shoulders with royalty when Princess Alexandra paid them a visit in July. Princess Alexandra, a cousin of HM the Queen, was given a guided tour of the factory and saw how the handmade teddy bears are stitched together before being given her very own Merrythought bear.
Merrythought has a long connection with the royal family, from Queen Elizabeth II receiving a Merrythought Corgi in the 1950s, to Prince Charles visiting the factory in 1989 and being presented with two teddy bears for William and Harry. Princess Alexandra (pictured left) was given a Bevan bear, named after NHS founder Aneurin Bevan and created to celebrate the NHS’s 70th anniversary and help raise money for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).
Merrythought’s Sarah Holmes says, “We’re proud and delighted to have welcoming Princess Alexandra to Ironbridge. We hope she enjoyed her visit and seeing the unique way we handmake each Merrythought bear.”