An embroiderer who worked on Kate Middleton and Meghan Markles’ wedding gowns has revealed her fears of being made homeless and struggles to feed her two children amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The mother-of-two says that as a small-business owner she has received no financial help from the government during the coronavirus pandemic, and claimed that her application for Universal Credit has been rejected four times.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, she said her daughter, 14, has stopped eating lunch and dinner to try and help save money on food.
Chloe, who said her savings can cover one month of rent, revealed she is terrified of being made homeless and has contacted charities seeking emergency shelter, adding: ‘This is the reality of my lockdown. I spend half my time in tears. We have no money. There is just nothing left.’
Chloe Savage, 43, from Warmley village, near Bristol, has revealed her fears of being made homeless and struggles to feed her two children amid the Covid-19 crisis. She worked as an embroiderer on Kate Middleton, 38, and Meghan Markle’s wedding dresses
Expert embroiderer Chloe, who trained at the prestigious Ecole Lesage in Paris and the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, has worked on the Harry Potter franchise and on pieces for international catwalks and museums.
Her needlework meant she had to sign the Official Secrets Act before working on the royal dresses.
After being contacted by the Royal School of Needlework in 2011, Chloe became part of a team of 20 who to made Kate’s stunning Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Sarah Burton, featuring intricate lace appliqué bodice and sleeves.
The workmanship saw individual flowers cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design – which incorporated the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.
The mother-of-two was also enlisted to work on Meghan Markle’s veil for her wedding day in 2018. Pictured, Prince Harry and Meghan leaving Windsor Castle on their wedding day
In 2018 when Meghan donned a pure white silk Givenchy gown and 15ft veil by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, Chloe was once again on hand to help.
The embroiderer helped to create Meghan’s veil made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza.
The veil was embellished with the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in a single spectacular floral composition.
Chloe Savage, 43, (pictured) from Warmley village, near Bristol, says she’s received no financial help from the government during the pandemic
But when the pandemic struck and work became scarce, Chloe was forced to pack up her Bristol workshop and run the business from her mother’s garage.
The mother also revealed that she’s in £25,000 debt after applying for the government Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) which enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak – only to end the rental agreement on her workshop.
She said the situation is now becoming desperate, with her teenage daughter choosing not to eat in order to lighten the financial load.
In 2018 when Meghan donned a pure white silk Givenchy gown and 15ft veil by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, Chloe was once again on hand to help
Chloe said: ‘I’m heartbroken…She’s not communicating because she’s worried. I can’t cope with any more stress.’
She revealed her father has even sold his car to try an help them financially, and that they’re unable to move in with her parents because there isn’t enough room.
Chloe is one of up to three million people who have had no support from the government during the coronavirus crisis, according to campaign group Excluded.
Who is eligible for government support?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in November that 80 per cent furlough is being extended to the end of March, after England was plunged into a new national lockdown.
A separate scheme for the self-employed will also hand out grants of 80 per cent of previous profits between this month and January – double the level previously on offer.
However, a sizeable chunk of those who are self-employed, ranging from those who have earned more than £50,000 to freelancers and first-time entrepreneurs, are not elligible.
Limited company directors who employ themselves through their own firm – something often demanded by clients – are also not covered.
Whilst it is a grey area if limited company directors are technically self-employed, they have made up an increasing element of the UK’s self-employed workforce in recent years.
Some have been able to furlough themselves but have found their income drop substantially as they paid themselves through dividends – a tax move that is legally allowed.