A Scottish kiltmaker has told of his “extreme pride” as he shared the story behind his most treasured creation, a kilt made from a bolt of fabric donated by King Charles.
Graeme Bone was a steel worker but changed careers after becoming concerned for his health.
The 36-year-old, from Auchinleck in Ayrshire, took part in the modern artisan programme offered by the Prince’s Foundation and found his calling in making traditional, hand-sewn kilts.
He credits the course with “opening up a whole new world for me” saying it has “changed my life considerably”.
Speaking to reporters at the Foundation’s headquarters at Dumfries House near Cumnock, he wore the kilt he made for himself from the donated fabric, which is in the charity’s official tartan.
He said the response to his first designs was “absolutely unbelievable”.
Recalling an event in 2019 as he was still training, he said: “It was a massive press launch we had that morning, so there was press from all over the world, as far as Sydney, America, China and everything.
“While we were talking to the Prince – obviously now the King – and Federico Marchetti, the CEO of UK Net A Porter, I jokingly said to him ‘I will make you a kilt in this’.”
He continued: “Just a wee while later I was told to take the first eight yards off the bolt of fabric by his Royal Highness so I could make my kilt.
“So I have a unique one-of-a-kind kilt that will never be replicated again.
“And the fabric’s been given to me by the King. I don’t even know where to begin to express the gratitude.”
He looks back on the memory with “extreme pride”, saying his meetings with King Charles have been “one of the most poignant personal changes for me”.
The gift affirmed that all the hard work and sacrifices he had made had come to fruition, he said.
Mr Bone’s success in the fashion world also led to him meeting the Queen of Malaysia, who he says asked him what he wore underneath his kilt.
The kilt made from the donated fabric is now his pride and joy, which he will one day frame and hang on a wall.
Asked what kind of King he thought Charles would be, he said: “I’ve been fortunate to have met him several times now with all my involvement in the different programmes.
“From what I’ve seen he’s a very, very genuine man. He’s a man at the end of the day.
“I do think we’re in line to have a really, really good King.”