Princess of Wales tours Leeds mill with family connections and links to Waterloo

Princess of Wales at Leeds mill
AW Hainsworth once bought a woollen manufacturer once owned by relatives of the princess's father, Michael. Credit: PA

The Princess of Wales has visited a West Yorkshire textile mill with a history of making uniforms for the British army and links to the Middleton family.

AW Hainsworth, based in Spring Valley Mills at Stanningley, near Pudsey, can lay claim to more than 200 years of expertise in military textiles. It produced the scarlet uniform cloth memorialised as the "thin red line" at the Battle of Waterloo.

The company also made the scarlet tunics for guardsmen on duty during the Coronations of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and King Charles in May this year.

For Princess Katherine the mill, which was granted a royal warrant from the late Queen, also holds a close personal connection: it bought a woollen manufacturer once owned by relatives of her father, Michael.

The princess learned about manufacturing techniques during her tour. Credit: PA

During her tour Katherine learned about the manufacturing process of textiles - from yarn to fabric.

Traditional machinery and techniques are still the backbone of the industry and the princess met a number of the company's apprentices, alongside their mentors who are passing down generations of specialist skills.

Modern technology is also part of the process and Katherine was shown an on-site laboratory, which the company is using for cutting-edge innovation and product development.

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