HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits West Sussex swords manufacturer - In pictures

HRH The Duke of Gloucester was given a tour around the museum and workshop at a swords manufacturing business in West Sussex.

Pooley Sword Ltd is the leading cutler of swords, dirks and lances to the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth & Overseas Defence Forces. The company supplies military and ceremonial swords across the world.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, visited the company’s base at Highdown House, Brighton City Airport in Shoreham-By-Sea on Tuesday afternoon (December 5). He also presented The Queen's Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity to Building Heroes at the County Hall in Chichester – before visiting the Bognor Regis Museum.

A spokesperson for Pooley Sword Ltd said: “We are delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to Pooley Sword, where he will meet managing director / chairman Robert Pooley and the team.

"As we are commissioned to create a great number of ceremonial swords for the Royal Family, British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth as well as private collectors, it will be a great pleasure to show the Duke of Gloucester around our museum and workshop and also give him the opportunity to see our skilled craftsmen at work.

"He will be introduced to our head cutler, Peter Harmsworth (ex-Wilkinson Sword), who has over 30 years’ experience making and refurbishing swords as well as our head designer, Adam Cook.”

Pooley Sword started life in 2005 shortly after Wilkinson Sword closed its factory and stopped making ceremonial swords.

"Our swords are handmade for the individual by highly skilled Sword Cutlers using traditional materials and methods,” the spokesperson added.

"We create genuine swords, the only difference is that they are not sharpened and are for ceremonial purposes only.

"Our swords are not mass-produced or factory-made and we pride ourselves on creating bespoke family heirlooms which will be passed down through the generations.

“We are currently busy completing sword orders for commissioning officer cadets at RMA Sandhurst, CTCRM Lympstone, BRNC Dartmouth and RAF Cranwell. We also offer a sword refurbishment service for current British military swords and antique swords.”

In August 2005, the ‘very distinguished sword makers’, Wilkinson Sword, ceased trading after 200 years.

Robert Pooley, who had been commissioning swords from Wilkinson’s for over forty years, purchased drawings, spares and ‘much of their tooling’ – including both heavy and light machinery. Read more at

The Duke of Gloucester – the late Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin – is a full-time working member of the Royal Family. According to the Royal Family’s website: “’He attends national and international events in support of The King and his duties as Head of State, as well as undertaking extensive public duties and engagements every year reflecting his own interests and charities.”

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