Thank You from Lord Mountbatten
Lord Mountbatten was a celebrated British naval officer and statesman who oversaw the defeat of the Japanese offensive towards India during World War Two. He was appointed the last viceroy of British India and first governor general of independent India.
Hawes & Curtis dressed Lord Mountbatten for most of his life and he went to endless trouble to make sure they obeyed his demands to perfection. He was fastidious to a degree in his appearance. No one ever saw him unshaven, dishevelled or wearing the wrong clothes for the occasion.
On the 20th of December 1920 -96 years ago to the day - he wrote a thank you letter to Mr. Curtis:
“I want to thank both you and Mr. Hawes for all the trouble you have taken over fitting me out. I am delighted with the results and enclose a cheque to the value of £113.18.6d for the amount I owe you.”
In 1955 he wrote to the Hawes & Curtis ordering eight suits from thirty yards of special tweed material and stressed that he wanted them to undertake not to sell the pattern to any other of their clients ‘so that it remains exclusive to Broadlands’. Three months later he wrote again saying he realised that this was not practical. His correspondence with H&C reveals the extent of his attention to the smallest detail in his eternal quest to be dressed always in the correct manner.
Mountbatten liked to introduce members of the Royal Family to his outfitters and Hawes & Curtis were suitably grateful when he caused Prince Philip, who was his nephew, to become one of their customers, especially when His Royal Highness went to grant them a Royal Warrant of Appointment in 1957.