Sunday 19 February 2017

'Looks like I’m beating the sapphires!' - Irish basket maker 'flattered' his rattle toy was gifted to Princess Charlotte

David Kearns

Published 02/05/2016 | 17:41

Ciaran Hogan (Inset: The woven rattle)
Ciaran Hogan (Inset: The woven rattle)

An Irish basket maker has won the battle of the rattles as his simple woven toy was given to Princess Charlotte for her first birthday by her grandfather, the Prince of Wales.

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Native Galway weaver Ciaran Hogan (34) says he is “flattered” with all the attention he’s received since his simple willow woven rattle was listed among hundreds of presents given to the little princess over the last 12 months to celebrate her birthday on May 2.

The simple toy might seem out of place in the royal’s toy box, which already contains a €40k white gold rattle studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires as well as gifts from a king, two queens, four presidents and three prime ministers, but according to the weaver “sometimes the simplest toy is the best”.

“It looks like I’m beating the sapphires,” joked the 34-year-old craftsman from Joyce Country.

Princess Charlotte, an image taken by the Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall in Norfolk in April
Princess Charlotte, an image taken by the Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall in Norfolk in April

“Children usually like the straightforward toys the most, so I’m flattered that my rattle has got the attention it has.

“It’s got seven stones inside to make the noise.

The woven rattle
The woven rattle

“These represent the seven deadly sins, so when the child shakes it, they’re banishing them.”

First presented to Prince Charles last May during his historic visit to Galway, Ciaran said he was “surprised” that his gift had made its way into the Royal Highness’ granddaughter’s toy chest.

Native Galway weaver Ciaran Hogan (34) says he is “flattered” with all the attention he’s received
Native Galway weaver Ciaran Hogan (34) says he is “flattered” with all the attention he’s received

“It’s a simple enough design and only takes 10 to 15 minutes to make, so when I heard about the Prince’s new grandchild I thought it would be an ideal gift to remember his visit to the area.

“It was very nice to meet him as he was very friendly and did seem to be genuinely interested in the rattle.”

Princess Charlotte poses for a photograph taken by her mother Kate Middleton, who is to appearon the cover of ‘Vogue’, inset, for its June centenary issue. Photo: Reuters
Princess Charlotte poses for a photograph taken by her mother Kate Middleton, who is to appearon the cover of ‘Vogue’, inset, for its June centenary issue. Photo: Reuters

He added: “I’m delighted he kept it to be honest. It’s very flattering.”

Ciaran, who followed his father into the weave trade some years ago, said that the majority of his business was making log baskets from willow sourced locally from Loch Na Fooey.

The young Princess Charlotte Credit: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
The young Princess Charlotte Credit: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

"I’ve always enjoyed the idea of being able to go out cut and harvest the willow and use it to create something from noting. There’s a pride in that."

A list of gifts released by Kensington Palace shows that among the more extravagant presents received by Princess Charlotte  over the past 12 months include a silver rattle given to her by the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his wife, Señora Angélica Rivera.

Even more lavish was an 18k white gold rattle studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires made by the Natural Sapphire Company and valued at €40,000.

In total, Princess Charlotte received gifts and letters from 64 countries around the world.

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