Britain outsources poppy wreaths from China

July 18th, 2010 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 18 (IANS) Many artificial poppy wreaths, including those used by British royal family on the annual Remembrance Day to commemorate war veterans, are outsourced from China, a media report said Sunday.
Prince Charles has been asked to intervene after it was revealed that parts of the Prince of Wales’s wreath have been made in China as part of drastic cost-cutting measures, Daily Express reported.

“The Prince of Wales plumage material is extremely expensive and as we now have to be cost effective it is being made in China, where it is much cheaper,” said a source at the Poppy Factory, which is jointly owned by the Royal British Legion.

“This is a break in an 88-year tradition but we all have to tighten our belts in these difficult times.”

The report of Chinese link comes as an embarrassment to Prince Charles, who has had a troubled relationship with China over human rights, the environment and its continued rule over Tibet.

The Poppy Factory in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, makes more than 7,000 wreaths every year.

It is staffed by 50 disabled veterans, who spend the year assembling more than 100,000 iconic poppies for Remembrance Day November 11. It makes all royal wreaths, including the one laid by the Queen at the Cenotaph.

Although the green plastic stems and black stigmas have been sourced in China for many years, it is the first time parts of royal wreaths are not being made in Britain.

Royal experts are urging the prince to intervene.

Author Margaret Holder said: “Prince Charles should be supporting British industry at every opportunity, and that includes these very special wreaths.”

“It is inconceivable that a wreath laid by any member of the royal family to commemorate British war dead should be more Chinese than British,” Phil Dampier, author of “Duke of Hazard, the Wit and Wisdom of Prince Philip”, was quoted as saying.

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