Kate Middleton Steps Out For an Official Visit With a Personal Family Connection

the princess of wales visits textiles manufacturers in leeds and lancaster
Kate Middleton Wears Burberry Suit For Day OutChris Jackson - Getty Images

After a quiet summer, it has been a busy September for the Princess of Wales as she has carried out engagements across the UK in support of charities and communities. And today, Kate started the day with an official engagement that has a special personal connection to her father’s family.

The Princess chose a fashion-forward Burberry suit today for a day out celebrating the UK textiles industry. Her first stop was in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, where she visited family-owned textile mill AW Hainsworth. The mill was established in 1783 and manufactures British woollen cloth, textiles and fabrics. Significantly, it also has a connection to the Middleton family, as in 1958, Kate’s great-great grandfather Noel Middleton sold what was then William Lupton & Co to AW Hainsworth.

Noel Middleton was married to Olive Lupton, who was part of the prominent Lupton family. Their son Peter Francis Middleton married Valerie Glassborow and they became parents to four sons including Kate’s father Michael Middleton.

“Today, AW Hainsworth is a fully integrated, vertical textile mill which supplies fabrics to a wide range of customers – from fashion and homeware brands to the Armed Forces,” Kensington Palace said. AW Hainsworth has a Royal Warrant and its fabrics were on display during the Coronation of the King earlier this year.

Kate received a tour of the mill to learn about the manufacturing process of textile and innovations in the industry as well as meeting a number of the company’s apprentices.

The Princess's second stop of the day was scheduled to be in Lancaster to visit Standfast & Barracks, a printworks dating back to 1924. The company is renowned for its impressive heritage in textile design and creativity. There, she was scheduled to meet the founders of British interiors brand House of Hackney.

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