Earlier this week, Princess Anne visited Barka Parka, a small business in Somerset which has been making dog beds since 1979. The Princess Royal spoke with owners Emma Aitken and Richard Burdett about the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on their business.
During her socially-distanced visit, Princess Anne also shown how the dog beds were made by Janet Coffman, who founded the company four decades ago.
This business, the Queen’s only daughter heard, strives to keep the manufacturing of its product within the country and sources most of the material it uses from across the UK.
During the engagement, Princess Anne was also told of the company’s efforts to become entirely plastic-free and to use eco-friendly materials.
As the Princess Royal was told, Barka Parka has now started crafting pet beds with BioFoam as a filling rather than polystyrene.
Princess Anne visited Barka Parka on Wednesday
Princess Anne heard how Barka Parka makes its eco-friendly pet beds
This plant-based material is carbon neutral in the manufacturing process and compostable.
This visit took place only hours after Princess Anne had joined the Queen and six other senior royals at Windsor Castle on December 8.
For the first time since March, the Queen hosted a public gathering of members of the Royal Family in the Quadrangle at her home in Berkshire.
The Queen surrounded by seven senior royals, including Princess Anne
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were also in attendance as well as Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
During their gathering, the royals listened to Christmas carols played by the Salvation Army band before meeting local charity workers and volunteers to thank them for their continuous work during the pandemic.
The idea of this royal meet-up in the run-up to quiet Christmas celebrations came from the Queen, according to an insider.
Princess Anne attending the National Service of Remembrance
Princess Anne is one of the hardest working royals
This public royal meeting also served to unveil to the world what has been dubbed as the New Firm.
According to a royal source, the Queen has reshaped the Crown in accordance with changes taking place over the past months.
The seven senior members of the Royal Family included in the rumoured New Firm plans are to attend events and represent the Crown in small numbers from next year, the source claimed.
They told the Daily Mirror: “The family are united in exploring the possibilities in working with each other to highlight the causes dear to their hearts, helping each other and the country at the same time.
Princess Anne has two children
“They are working on opportunities for next year and beyond already.
“As soon as they are able it will be all hands on deck to make up for lost time.
“The Queen has often said they ‘need to be seen to be believed’ – this is coming from the very top.”
This ‘New Firm’ appears to be fitting in perfectly with Prince Charles’s rumoured desire to streamline the monarchy, leaving with an HRH style only those close to the throne who also carry out royal duties.
Princess Anne at Windsor Castle on December 8
At the same time, plans for the royals to carry out engagements and public duties together uphold the Queen’s mantra “I need to be seen to be believed”.
Speaking about the plans for the future, courtiers said to be “excited” at the prospect of organising more joint engagements and events with these senior royals.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are not included in this reshaped Crown.
While the Sussexes have stepped down as senior royals in March, the Duke of York has announced last November he was temporarily stepping back from public office following his car crash interview with Newsnight.
Source: EX[RESS CO UK