The Princess of Wales was elegant in a dark green suit as she visited a textile mill in Leeds which was once owned by her family today.
Kate Middleton, 41, appeared in high spirits as she arrived at AW Hainsworth, a family-owned heritage textile mill which was established in 1783 and manufactures British woollen cloth, high-performing technical textiles, and iconic fabrics.
The mill also has a special family connection to Kate – for her ancestors owned the business, at the time known as William Lupton & Co, before selling it to AW Hainsworth in 1958.
The Princess, who has long been interested in her own family history, will receive a tour of the mill, as well as gaining a deeper understanding as to her ancestors’ connection to the business.
Kate rewore an elegant forest green trouser suit by Burberry for the outing in Leeds, pairing the trendy jacket and pants with a white blouse.
The Princess of Wales was elegant in a dark green suit as she visited a textile mill in Leeds which was once owned by her family today
The mill also has a special family connection to Kate – for her ancestors owned the business, at the time known as William Lupton & Co, before selling it to AW Hainsworth in 1958
Meanwhile she swept her hair into her signature bouncy blow dry style, and opted for a natural makeup look for the occasion.
During the visit today, she will learn about the manufacturing process of textile – from yarn to fabric – and how traditional machinery and techniques are the backbone of today’ s industry.
She will meet a number of the company’s apprentices, alongside their mentors, who are passing down generations of specialist skills.
Later, she will visit the new state-of-the-art on-site laboratory which the company is using for cutting-edge innovation and product development.
The Princess will also meet with Professor Stephen Russell, the Founding Director of Future Fashion Factory (FFF), to learn more about the importance of innovation in the textiles industry as it looks to the future.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise given her reputation as one of the most stylish women in the world that the Princess can trace back her roots to one of the great dynasties of Yorkshire textile manufacturing.
The Luptons of Leeds date back to the 17th century – Kate’s seven times great-grandparents’ graves can still be found at St John the Baptist Church, Adel – but their fortunes were made in 1773 when one William Lupton set up a small textile firm.
His son, Frank (born in 1813 and Kate’s great-great-great grandfather), transformed the modest family business in the second half of the 19th Century, after buying a a former cloth mill in Whitehall Road, Leeds, and expanding into manufacturing woollens, worsteds, fancy tweeds and other fabrics to make livery and police uniforms.
The royal mother-of-three offered a wave to royal fans who were awaiting her arrival at the textile mill
During the visit today, she will learn about the manufacturing process of textile – from yarn to fabric – and how traditional machinery and techniques are the backbone of today’ s industry
Kate Middleton appeared in high spirits as she arrived at AW Hainsworth, a family-owned heritage textile mill which was established in 1783
Animated as always, Kate was chatty as she spoke with a member of staff as they arrived at the mill in Leeds today
Kate swept her hair into her signature bouncy blow dry style, and opted for a natural makeup look for the occasion
The Princess of Wales appeared in high spirits as she arrived at the mill, which was once owned by her ancestors
She means business! Kate looked smart n the forest green trouser suit for the outing today, which she paired with matching accessories
Meanwhile the royal mother-of-three opted for statement gold jewellery for the outing in Leeds this afternoon
The business took off so successfully that he and his wife, Fanny, joined the elite of the local industrial titans and bought a sprawling Victorian mansion in the north of Leeds called Beechwood, employing six servants.
When family patriarch Frank died following a heart attack in 1884, he left a staggering £64,650 in his will – the equivalent of more than £32 million today.
The couple had five sons, the eldest being Francis Martineau Lupton, who joined the family firm and married vicar’s daughter, Harriet Davis.
Francis Lupton became an alderman of the city of Leeds (his three surviving brothers also reached the upper echelons of local society, with one, Hugh, becoming the city’s Lord Mayor).
He and Harriet had five children in all, but in 1892 Francis was sadly widowed in the Leeds influenza outbreak, leaving him to care for three sons and two daughters, all under the age of 10.
Tragically, his three sons – Fran, Maurice and Lionel – were also all killed during the First World War, leaving their father a broken man, dying of kidney failure at the age of 72.
Of his surviving daughters, the youngest, Anne, never married, although was awarded a MBE for her work improving housing conditions for the disadvantaged.
His eldest, Olive, grew up to become a renowned society beauty and married one Noel Middleton, a successful solicitor descended from a long legal dynasty, in 1914. He went on to become a director of the textiles mill.
They went on to have four children – Christopher, Anthony, Peter and Margaret – and bought a beautiful house called Fieldhead, close to her late grandfather’s.
It was there that Kate’s grandfather , Peter Francis Middleton, was born in 1920. He went onto distinguish himself in the RAF as a fighter pilot during the Second World War.
Leeds-based William Lupton & Co was founded in 1773 by Arthur Lupton, the youngest son of yeoman farmer William Lupton, who combined cloth-making with farming
Olive sadly died of peritonitis while on holiday in the Lake District in 1936 at the age of just 55. Peter was just 16 at the time.
But she set up a trust fund of £52,031, the equivalent of £2.9 million for her four children.
Peter Middleton went on to marry the princess’s grandmother, banker’s daughter Valerie, and they had Kate’s father, Michael. He was born in Leeds in 1949.
William Lupton and Co wool mill was sold by the family to AW Hainsworth in 1958 – and in a charming touch have supplied the Royal Family for many decades.
They even provided Prince William’s uniform cloth for his wedding in 2011 – neatly bringing the remarkable story of his bride’s family full circle.
Kate’s visit today comes after she showed her down-to-earth nature as she donned a pair of jeans and white trainers to watch Prince George play football over the weekend.
In a snap which was shared on social media, the Princess beamed with joy as she sheltered from the rain while watching her eldest son play in a match alongside her husband Prince William, 41.
The royal mother-of-three was dressed down for the occasion, opting for a smart Barbour coat with a pair of blue flared jeans and a white On x Roger Federer running trainers.
She swept her hair back from her face, opting for a causal makeup look for the outing, and wrapped a black scarf around her neck to stay warm.
George’s love of football has been no secret, with the royal celebrating birthdays with a sports-themed parties at Kensington Palace and William saying he hopes his oldest son will one day be Villa’s ‘top goal scorer’.
Earlier this month, a source close to Kate and William claimed the pair are ‘laser-focused’ and ‘know what they want from royal life’.
As they mark the first year of being the Prince and Princess of Wales, the couple have discovered what they want from the role and set a clear path to be the future of the monarchy, those around them say.
The royal couple have made sure their presence is seen in Wales and are supporting the King in his duties, while William is keen to ‘continue the great work that his father did’ with the Duchy of Cornwall.
Speaking to the Telegraph, a source said the pair ‘know what they want’ when it comes to their working lives, adding that they are ‘editing their own speeches and peppering aides with questions about every brief’.
William and Kate, alongside their children Prince George, ten, Princess Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Prince Louis are setting out to be ‘the future of the monarchy’ the source added.
‘There’s a lot for him to get his head around, and although he and his father worked closely together, there will have been a lot of “listening and discussing” his future path,’ the source said.
‘He has this unwavering commitment to duty and service. He takes the role extremely seriously and is incredibly focused on working hard but also supporting his father as King,’ they added.