Royals

Princess Anne reopens newly refurbished Poppy Factory

Watch: The Princess Royal opens the refurbished Lady Haig's Poppy Factory.

The Princess Royal has officially reopened the Poppy Factory in Edinburgh after its two-year refurbishment.

Princess Anne toured Lady Haig's Poppy Factory and its new exhibition space, and visited Bud, Poppyscotland's mobile museum.

The Royal visitor also took time to talk to the veterans who work at the factory about their experiences and how to make poppies and wreaths.

David Adamson, a wreath-maker and tour guide, who served for 22 years with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, gave her a tour of the factory.

"She was very interested in everything and took the time to speak to as many of the guys as possible. She also noticed the big difference from the last time she visited," Mr Adamson said.

HRH Princess Royal visits Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Princess Royal was given a tour of the newly refurbished Poppy Factory (Picture: Poppy Scotland).

Thirty-three disabled veterans work in the factory, which after being founded in 1926, makes over three million poppies each year for the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

The Royal visitor also signed a 'reflection postcard' which will form part of a wall display in the factory.

Austin Hardie, Poppyscotland's director, said they were "honoured" to welcome Princess Anne to open the refurbished factory.

"This is the culmination of two years of hard work to ensure we have a modern facility dedicated to supporting Scotland's veterans' community," he said.

"We are very proud of our heritage, and this marks an exciting new chapter in the factory's 97-year history. 

"We are looking forward to welcoming school groups and the wider public to the factory and exhibition space, telling the story of the poppy to new generations."

HRH Princess Royal visits Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, Scotland
Princess Anne also met some of the 33 disabled veterans who work in the Poppy Factory (Picture: Poppyscotland).

During her visit, the Princess Royal also met Summer Saunders and Kate Miller, who designed a red silk poppy dress as part of the 'Junk Kouture' sustainability project.

She also met Sophie Henderson, 14, from Ayrshire, who won Poppyscotland's 2020 poetry competition with her poem In Future Fields, a response to John McRae's 1915 poem In Flanders Fields.

After touring the Bud mobile museum, an 18-tonne truck that transforms into a micro-museum, the Princess Royal unveiled a plaque before being presented with a framed copy of both poems by chair of Poppyscotland Helen Owen.

"We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness for taking the time to meet the team involved in this exciting project, as well as her continued support for our Armed Forces community," Ms Owen said.