TWO young people from Ayr were introduced to Princess Anne this week.

The Princess Royal was in Edinburgh to open the Lady Haig Poppy Factory after a two-year refurbishment.

Anne toured the Edinburgh factory and its new exhibition space, chatted to staff and visited Poppyscotland’s mobile museum during her visit on Thursday.

She also met Summer Saunders and Kate Miller, both 17, from Ayr, who designed a silk red poppy dress as part of the “Junk Kouture” sustainability project.

Junk Kouture is a global platform which "aims to unleash the creative brilliance of young people through a fashion competition which challenges the world’s most talented emerging designers, engineers, artists and performers to envision, create and model high end couture from everyday junk".

The Ayr pair won a place in the Regional final of Junk Kouture 2021 with their creation called "Flanders Fields" - a red and black dress made from discarded strands of silk and broken poppies from Lady Haig Poppy Factory floor 

Inspired by the brave soldiers who fought in battle, the red in the dress represents the blood of those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who never welcomed their loved ones home and the green shows the hope for a better future that would come after the war.

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Sophie Henderson, 14, from Ayrshire, was also present. She won Poppyscotland’s 2020 poetry contest with her entry In Future Fields, a response to John McCrae’s 1915 In Flanders Fields poem.

Anne unveiled a plaque marking the reopening of the facility and was then presented with framed copies of both poems.

Poppyscotland director Austin Hardie said: “We were honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to officially reopen our newly refurbished factory and campus on Thursday.

“This is the culmination of two years of hard work to ensure we have a modern facility dedicated to supporting Scotland’s veterans’ community.

“We are very proud of our heritage, and this marks an exciting new chapter in the factory’s 97-year history.

"We are looking forward to welcoming school groups and the wider public to the factory and exhibition space, telling the story of the poppy to new generations.”