As the cavalcade pulled up at Oranje Tractor, and Her Royal Highness prepared to exit the car, I could hear quiet but excited murmurs from the press pool – “Is she carrying her gift?”, “Ah, she’s got the parasol” and so on.
Having not followed the early part of the Royal Visit to Western Australia, I wasn’t aware that a custom sun parasol, designed by locals Sunbella had been gifted to the Duchess of Cornwall by the State of Western Australia. And Duchess didn’t go anywhere for the rest of her time in WA without it. And with Albany experiencing one of the hottest days of the year, I’m sure she was most grateful.
I was thrilled when Casey Bryden from Sunbella contacted me after the visit to access some of the photos. I was able to get a bit more information about her sun parasols because I’m pretty sure “My Brides” will excited to hear about them.
Here’s the story behind the Duchess’s gift.
“By way of a back story, my mum and business partner, Jillian, is a Clinical Theatre Nurse who’s heard firsthand from frustrated skin-cancer sufferers, whom avoided sun-safety because existing products compromised their style or gave them hat-hair. I’ve also personally had nine moles removed. We began a global search for a stylish parasol for our own use, which unearthed a gap in the market for a modern sun umbrella with appropriate UV protection, so we created Sunbella.
This will be our fourth Summer and we’ve grown from selling at local markets to international distribution and we recently won the Business Excellence category of the national AusMumpreneur Awards. The Duchess of Cornwall was gifted a Sunbella by the State of Western Australia and we have been absolutely blown away and humbled by the support of the Perth public that have recognised it as one of ours.
We’re on a mission to change women’s attitudes to sun safety, by helping to solve the frustrating conundrum of having to choose between style or sun safety. Hopefully more ladies will be sun safe if they without the excuse of hat-hair ”
And Brides, you’ll be thrilled to hear it’s possible to hire the parasols for weddings. (However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wanting one for keeps)!