London riots: Prince William writes warm letter to family who lost 125-year-old business
Published 06/10/2011 | 14:16
PRINCE William has written a heartfelt letter of support to the family whose burning furniture store came to symbolise the violence of the London riots.
The Duke of Cambridge penned the note to the Reeves family who were widely praised for their stoicism after a blaze destroyed one of their business premises in Croydon.
New customers travelled hundreds of miles to buy goods from the firm after being moved by images of the House of Reeves shop in ruins in August.
In the letter, the Duke, who visited Birmingham with wife Kate after riots in the Midlands, described his "total shock and anger" and said he looked "forward to visiting your new shop soon", the Daily Telegraph reported.
The furniture store had withstood two World Wars since the business began trading on the site in 1886.
Its director, Trevor Reeves, is the fifth generation of his family to run the firm during its 144-year history.
It was set up by his great-great-grandfather, Edwin Reeves, and was held so close to the heart of the local community that part of Croydon, Reeves Corner, was named after it.
Mr Reeves, who runs the business with brother Graham, would not give the details of the letter but talked about its tone.
He said: "It's a personal letter written to me and my father, although it's been mentioned it's not something I want to go into any detail about.
"It was a very kind letter and very supportive of the family."
William's hand-written note on St James's Palace headed paper is written over two sheets and is now stuck to a wall in the business's offices.