A Royal History

On Thursday 21st April the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday, with her official birthday being commemorated on the second Saturday in June.

Born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on the 21st of April, 1926 in London, Queen Elizabeth II has become the longest reigning monarch. Regardless of age, the Queen continues to perform her royal duties with the same passion and dedication exhibited in her younger years. Around the time of the Queen’s birth, Denby was experiencing a boom in functional kitchenware and collectable decorative pieces, including pie dishes, hot water bottles, vases and tobacco jars. Each piece was stamped ‘Danesby Ware’, which was the name given to all of our giftware during this period.

In 1934, the Queen first met Prince Philip at the wedding of Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece. Although very young, the pair formed a bond and soon started to exchange letters. Whilst Denby lost its Governing Director, Joseph Bourne Wheeler in 1942, passing the business over to his wife, Florence Bourne Wheeler, it was in 1943 on Philip’s visit to Windsor Castle at Christmas that close family and friends identified a budding romance between Elizabeth and Philip. Although the King spoke highly of Philip, both he and the Queen believed Elizabeth to be too young to be considering a suitor at this time.

Philip later proposed to Elizabeth and they were married on 20th November 1947. Over one hundred guests attended the wedding breakfast and the tables were decorated with white and ink carnations and poises of myrtle and white Balmoral heather. The four tiered wedding cake was cut with Philip’s Mountbatten sword.

On the 6th February, 1952, aged 26, the Queen acceded the throne and was later crowned on the 2nd June 1953. The ‘50s were a particularly influential era for Denby, with the recruitment of designers such as Kenneth Clark who created our classic giftware, and Gill Pemberton who produced iconic designs including Chevron and Arabesque.

Today, Denby continues to operate using the same high-quality clay which is locally-sourced. Our range of tableware collections have been significantly extended and the product categories continue to be updated and renewed. The latest developments in technology have been adopted, but the level of skill and craftsmanship remains. Our Britain heritage is at the heart of everything that we do, and we pride ourselves on creating beautiful and durable tableware pieces that have been manufactured with exceptional care, in England.
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