Sad story behind royal wedding dresses
The mastermind behind Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses is said to be on the brink of homelessness after falling on hard times during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chloe Savage was once a revered embroiderer who was responsible for the glittering finishing touches on both the Duchesses' wedding dresses - but now her trade has entirely dried up.
Speaking to People Magazine, she said: "It's been horrific. We've had all our work literally dry up. My 14-year-old daughter is skipping meals to save on the food budget. The stress is getting to her."
Despite also working as a conservator for The National Trust, where she's responsible for 40,000 historic textile items at Tyntesfield house in North Somerset, Chloe's line of work has been greatly impacted by the pandemic.
The 43-year-old continued: "In January and February, we started seeing a lot of our international contracts getting put on hold.
"Work just disappeared. People like the National Trust very quickly said they would have to postpone our projects because they knew they were going to have a massive hole in their budget."
Struggling to stay afloat, mum-of-three Chloe shut down her embroidery studio, laid off her apprentices and gladly accepted a government loan.
Sadly this was not enough to keep her out of the red, and she is struggling as a result.
She said: "We are now in the position where we have to actually not pay our bills for the first time ever.
"Well, what else do you do? You spend half the time phoning up agencies trying to grovel your way into reducing your bill or putting it on a monthly payment or spreading it over, just so you don't get hit by the whole thing.
"We might make it through to the New Year but we'll then have to sit down and try and grovel with our landlord and go into rent arrears until he decides to start removal procedures."
Chloe's current reality is worlds away from her life before the pandemic hit.
The talented embroiderer worked on Kate's wedding dress in 2011 followed by Meghan's in 2018.
Describing working on Kate's stunning Alexander McQueen gown, she said: "We appliquéd all the lace to her gown and shoes.
She added that she also worked on her "elasticated blue silk and white lace garter," joking, "All of the things that you don't get to see!"
Chloe continued: "Kate came in a few times. She was lovely. The usual blushing bride.
"She was excited about the dress, nervous about the day, questioning what we were doing … all that sort of stuff."
Meanwhile, Chloe never came face-to-face with the Duchess of Sussex, she did work on the famous 16-foot veil that Markle wore with her Givenchy gown.
Since falling on hardship, Chloe claims she's tried to claim benefits four times but had been denied.
Her hopes are now pinned on getting some work designing costumes for the US television network HBO.
"It might just keep us vaguely floating," she said. "As long as nothing goes wrong."
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission.
Originally published as Sad story behind royal wedding dresses