Royal School of Needlework | 150 Years

18th March 2022

150 years ago, Queen Victoria was still on the throne in Britain; most people travelled in horse-drawn vehicles or on foot; and women were dressed in huge bustles and cascades of frills and lace.

1903 workroom of the RSN

There was another notable event in 1872, and that was the founding of the Royal School of Needlework in London.

The RSN was founded on two key principles – to preserve the art of hand embroidery and to support the independence of women through work, in particular needlework.

Since then, the RSN has undertaken projects as high profile as Queen Victoria’s funeral pall, the coronation robes of Edward VII, the Robe of State for Queen Elizabeth II (for which the RSN was awarded a Coronation medal) and more recently the wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

RSN embroidering the robe for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 

As well as these illustrious projects, the RSN has continued to teach the art of fine embroidery to people from all over the world. From the first gathering above a bonnet shop in Sloane Street, London, through to teaching online classes to students from every part of the globe simultaneously, the RSN has never forgotten its founding purpose.

RSN Degree graduate Dev Patel in 2018

This year, 2022, sees the RSN celebrate its 150th Anniversary. There are events, classes and celebrations planned all year to mark this momentous occasion. If you would like to see what events are happening, you will find them HERE. You can also learn about the history of the RSN HERE.

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