Palace commission for local author John

16/1/13- Author Dr. John Feltwell with his new book 'The Queen's Mulberries'
16/1/13- Author Dr. John Feltwell with his new book 'The Queen's Mulberries'

AN AUTHOR from Henley Down was approached by Buckingham Palace to take part in a unique project to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

While most of us waved flags at street parties up and down the land, Dr John Feltwell was busy writing the introduction to The Queen’s Mulberries, a book to be presented to HM The Queen in celebration of her Jubilee year.

Dr Feltwell’s connection with silk and mulberries goes back to his book The Story of Silk, published by Alan Sutton in 1990, which includes a chapter on Royal Silks.

A copy of the book was sent to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Two decades later, Dr Feltwell, who has written around 43 books during his distinguished career, received a message from Buckingham Palace, inviting him to take part in a new project.

Dr Feltwell said: “Eighteen months ago the head gardener at Buckingham Palace e-mailed me and asked if I would be interested in writing an introduction to a book on the Queen’s mulberries.

“I was delighted. It came as a surprise.”

The book focuses on the collection of mulberries which have grown in the gardens of Buckingham Palace over the years.

The folio book is bound in silk and leather and contains life size colour plates by Alysia Hunt of the 35 mulberry taxa now found in the private gardens of Buckingham Palace. The text accompanying the plates is by Susyn Andrews, of Kew Gardens.

The book was commissioned by Mark Lane, the Royal Gardens Manager.

Just one hundred copies of the The Queen’s Mulberries have been produced.

One copy, containing the original artwork, was presented to Her Majesty in December to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Dr Feltwell said: “She was delighted to receive it before Christmas.”

But anyone who would like their own copy of The Queen’s Mulberries had better start saving their pennies - a copy will set you back £1,000.

Money raised from sales will go to the Perennial (formerly The Gardener’s Royal Benevolent Fund) and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners Charity.