Prince Charles jokes about battle to stay in shape during Gloucestershire visit

Danielle Stacey

The Prince of Wales joked about his efforts to stay in shape when he visited his shirt maker Emma Willis in Gloucestershire on Monday, saying "it's a never-ending battle." Prince Charles, 71, was being given a tour of the factory floor and the cutting room when he made the quip. When the heir to the throne was presented with a shirt as his visit to came to an end, he said: "Very kind of you - you've got my measurements. I struggle to keep them the same, a never-ending battle."

Ms Willis set up her business in 1989 and has a shop on London's Jermyn Street, a stone's throw from Charles' London residence, Clarence House. She said: "I was approached by one of his dressers about six years ago, and the dresser said His Royal Highness would like to try my shirts. So I went to Clarence House and measured His Royal Highness for the first time and we've been making his shirts ever since. And one of the things we specialise in is very fine Swiss cottons and he loves lovely soft fabrics."

READ: Prince Charles makes rare comment about Brexit

charles-factory

Charles toured the factory

During the engagement Charles also met with injured service personnel sponsored by the company's charity Style for Soldiers. Ms Willis set up the charity in 2008, which provides complimentary smart clothing, bespoke regimental walking sticks and reunion parties for injured service men and women.

In an impromptu speech, the Prince thanked Ms Willis for her work: "I just wanted to come really to thank you, more than anything, for the wonderful things you do, apart from making fantastic shirts and boxer shorts and everything else. But everything you do for our armed forces and all those who had the horror of being wounded in one way or another, it is a wonderful thing you do."

MORE: Rare photo shows coordinated signatures of Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla

charles-factory-employee

Emma Willis Ltd has been making shirts for Charles for the past six years

In 2018, the charity put on Art In The Aftermath, an exhibition of painting, poetry, film and sculpture by injured service personnel recovering through the creative process from the trauma of war.

On Tuesday, Charles will carry out engagements in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, including a visit to the Costume Workshop of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. On Thursday, he and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will present The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for 2018-2020 in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, and the Prince also has a day of engagements in Wales on Friday.

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.