As you know, we celebrated our 90th anniversary in September, (and if you missed it, you can catch up here!) and we loved reading all of your wonderful Merrythought memories from the past nine decades.

Merrythought and The Royal Family

All this reminiscing got us thinking about some of the major milestones and occasions during our ninety years, as well as some of our most special relationships and partnerships. Something we are particularly proud of is our relationship with the royal family, from our work with the official royal enterprises, to the many Merrythought toys that have been enjoyed by members of the royal family throughout our history.

Our royal story goes back almost seven decades, when one of Merrythought’s then Directors, Jimmy Matthews, had the pleasure of presenting Her Majesty The Queen with a handmade Corgi teddy at the 1952 British Industries Fair.

The Queen at 1957 Trade Fair

This gift and its grateful reception marked the beginning of our special connection with Buckingham Palace, and we’ve created Merrythought teddy bears and other characters for each royal generation since.

Merrythought Queen Teddy Bear                          Merrythought Royal Baby Teddy Bear

In 1982, 30 years after his mother was presented with her Corgi teddy, HRH Prince Charles was delighted to receive one of Merrythought’s famous green hippos as a gift for his newborn son HRH Prince William.

Prince Charles and Merrythought Hippo

William was then pictured a few years later walking with his cousin Zara Phillips (now Tindall) to church on Christmas Day. Zara was carrying her own Merrythought teddy bear hand warming muff, as they smiled and waved at the public.

Prince William and Zara Phillips

Over the years, we’ve been asked to create commemorative teddy bears for many major royal occasions, including the marriage of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and the births of the Her Majesty’s great grandchildren; Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie.

Merrythought was also honored to welcome Princess Alexandra to the Ironbridge factory in the Summer of 2018. The princess enjoyed meeting all the team and learning about the intricate detail and skills that go into bringing to life each handmade teddy bear, and was presented her very own Bevan Bear. She told us how grateful she was to receive this such an adorable bear, originally made to celebrate the NHS, and how he would be something to really treasure.

Princess Alexandra at Merrythought 2018

As a company, we are very proud of our long-standing relationship with the royal family and feel privileged that we continue to be chosen by the official royal enterprises to design and hand-make their exclusive teddy bears. This currently includes The Buckingham Palace Shop, Highgrove and Sandringham.

We often wonder if our founder, Gordon Holmes, ever imagined that Merrythought would become a royal favourite for so many generations. As we look to the future, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of British craftsmanship and hope that our unique soft toys may be enjoyed by many more generations of our royal family.