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Ironbridge teddy bear makers Merrythought to welcome Princess Alexandra this week

By Shropshire Star, 19 July 2018, 16:18PM

Staff at Britain’s last remaining teddy bear manufacturer, Merrythought, will receive a visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra this week.

Princess Alexandra, cousin of The Queen, will be given a guided tour of the factory in Ironbridge on Friday, where she will see how the handmade teddy bears are stitched together.

Merrythought, with its proud heritage, has long had a connection with the Royal Family, from Queen Elizabeth II receiving a Merrythought Corgi in the 1950s, to Prince Charles visiting the factory in 1989.

More recently, Merrythought has made limited edition bears for the Royal Collection. It has produced commemorative Royal Baby bears to mark the births of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The princess will also meet production assistant Wendy Edwards, who is one of the longest serving members of staff at the factory, having first joined Merrythought in 1966. Managing director Sarah Holmes and production manager, Ian Wicklen, will also be meeting Her Royal Highness, along with other members of the office and production team at Merrythought.

Sarah Holmes, director at Merrythought, said: “We are proud and delighted to be welcoming Princess Alexandra to Ironbridge.

“We hope she enjoys her visit and seeing the unique way that we hand-make each Merrythought bear.”

Merrythought has handmade traditional teddy bears in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge since 1930.