The Queen’s love of fans has seen her become a member of a City of London livery company dedicated to their promotion.
Camilla was left fanning herself in delight after she was made an “Honorary Liveryman” of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers and put on their robes during a ceremony rarely seen outside of the City of London.
She was presented with a fan made by designer Stewart Parvin, who created dresses for Queen Elizabeth II and was commissioned by the Fan Makers in 2020, to mark the impact of Covid-19 on so many lives with his design.
The Queen told the assembled Liverymen at Clarence House: “I’m very proud to be part of the family,” and explained that “upstairs” in her private apartment she had a collection of fans.
A fan belonging to the Queen’s great-grandmother Alice Keppel – famed for being the mistress of Edward VII – was the star attraction of a small exhibition of fans with a royal connection, held during the event.
Camilla is patron of London’s Fan Museum and the institution was able to find an expert fan maker to help repair the accessory, made with feathers from the jay bird.
The Queen was joined by the Duchess of Gloucester, installed as a Liveryman of the Fan Makers in 2005, and as they both looked at the delicate Keppel fan, Camilla told her: “I said: ‘Can you do anything about this?’ And here we are.”
The Fan Makers can trace their origins back to 1670 when a guild was formed via a petition to Parliament concerning the threat of imported fans and later gained a royal charter in 1709.
Today, its focus is charitable and community projects with its members drawn from a wide group of individuals whose association with fans may relate to modern fans like turbines.
Peter Dove, Master of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, said about Camilla’s decision to join the ancient organisation: “Amazing, because we’re a small company, we’re not well known, we’re a little bit different.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have somebody who is interested in fans in her own right, this is something for her really, and we just hope that will be a two-way street – she’ll be a good ambassador for us.”