Clothing company brings back discontinued jumper after a photo of Prince Louis wearing the hand-me-down item on his fifth birthday left the firm inundated with requests
When the Princess of Wales released a photograph of her youngest son Prince Louis to mark his fifth birthday last weekend, shoppers rushed to find the same sweater he was wearing.
But there was only one problem: the £75 Fair Isle design was a hand-me-down Kate was given years ago, and had since been discontinued. So now, after being inundated with requests, the company which makes it has brought back the retired design.
Lallie London had, until Friday, been accepting advance orders for the smoky blue jumper, even though it won’t be available again until September. The company was set up by designer Alice Avenel, an old schoolfriend of Kate’s, but she has now sold it. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday about the sweater, the mother-of-three said: ‘I gave it to her years ago. It was a hand-me-down. I sold the company in March.’
It is not the first time the Wales children have worn one of Alice’s designs. Five years ago, Princess Charlotte, then two, almost stole the show as she and Prince George, four, arrived at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, to meet their baby brother. The £45 Periwinkle smocked dress she wore came from Ms Avenel’s other label, Little Alice London, and immediately sold out online.
When the Princess of Wales released a photograph of her youngest son Prince Louis (pictured) to mark his fifth birthday last weekend, shoppers rushed to find the same sweater he was wearing
The £75 Fair Isle sweater worn by Prince Louis to mark his fifth birthday was a hand-me-down Kate was given years ago
Designer of the jumper Alice Avenel at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011
The daughter of an ex-Army officer, Alice, 41, has been a close friend of both the Prince and Princess of Wales since childhood. She was a teenage friend of William and a peripheral member of the ‘Glossy Posse’, who would hang out at Highgrove.
She was at exclusive Marlborough College with the Middleton sisters, playing tennis with Kate and hockey with Pippa. The Prince and Princess of Wales went to her 2012 wedding to French banker Gerald Avenel.
Alice, who has three children, Rose, 11, Constantine, nine, and Edward, seven, founded Little Alice in 2018, after the births of her children when she discovered a ‘passion for smocking’. She also sold that company last month.
Explaining why she set up the firm, she said: ‘My clever mother kept all of my beautiful smocked dresses from when I was a child, but I found it very hard to find affordable dresses in the shops.’