Kettering shoes fit for a King as Charles III's bespoke coronation pumps handcrafted by Gaziano & Girling for historic royal day

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The then Prince of Wales visited the Kettering factory four years ago

Kettering-made shoes fit for a King will be at the heart – and sole – of the coronation and as King Charles III is proclaimed sovereign he will have his feet in Northamptonshire footwear.

The King has been a fan of Gaziano & Girling footwear since he visited the Balfour Street manufacturing base in 2019 and owns four pairs designed by Tony Gaziano.

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Gracing the royal feet at the event in Westminister Abbey will be a pair of bow pumps – shoes traditionally worn with formal evening dress.

Tony Gaziano with a pair of bow pump shoes similar to the ones that will be worn by The KingTony Gaziano with a pair of bow pump shoes similar to the ones that will be worn by The King
Tony Gaziano with a pair of bow pump shoes similar to the ones that will be worn by The King

Gaziano & Girling were asked to adapt a pair they had already made by adding buckles to the veal-calf patent leather bespoke ‘Lancaster’ design.

Mr Gaziano took the call last month saying that the made in Kettering shoes would be worn by King Charles for the ceremony.

He said “I think for both me and Dean (Girling) this is probably the pinnacle of our careers, and we’re very very proud and happy that he chose our shoes to wear for the coronation. The guys in the factory are blown away.

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”All we’ve had to do to adjust it for the coronation is to put this ornate royal buckle on it for the ceremony."

L-r Kiichiro Ozeki, Mrs Kay Smart, Tony Gaziano, Chelise Porter, Mr Roger Smart, Lee BettelleyL-r Kiichiro Ozeki, Mrs Kay Smart, Tony Gaziano, Chelise Porter, Mr Roger Smart, Lee Bettelley
L-r Kiichiro Ozeki, Mrs Kay Smart, Tony Gaziano, Chelise Porter, Mr Roger Smart, Lee Bettelley

To create the bespoke shoes, Mr Gaziano personally visits clients for fittings at least twice in the process with him making trips down to royal residences Clarence House and Sandringham to ensure each pair is perfect.

He said: “When you spend the majority of your time on your feet they need to be comfortable. They feel like sneakers but have the formality of a shoe.”

Handcrafted out of finest leather – the calves graze in meadows in a specific part of the Swiss Alps – using traditional techniques by the Kettering team, each pair takes up to 96 hours of constant labour to produce.

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Although they aren’t ‘by royal appointment’ the company, the youngest shoe factory in Northamptonshire at 17 years, Gaziano & Girling hope to achieve that status next year.

Kettering: Gaziano & Girling visit by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles with Tony Gaziano and Dean GirlingKettering: Gaziano & Girling visit by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles with Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling
Kettering: Gaziano & Girling visit by HRH The Prince of Wales. Prince Charles with Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling

On the big day, Tony will be watching the ceremony and celebrating his daughter Emmie’s birthday with a barbeque.

He said: “I’m going to be watching his feet more than his face. We will be saying God save The King and happy birthday at the same time.”

Business partner Dean Girling will be watching in the United States of America where he is currently on business.

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Back at the Kettering factory, the bespoke team are also preparing to watch their handiwork walk down the famous aisle.

The bow pump shoes will be in a size 10 handmade for The KingThe bow pump shoes will be in a size 10 handmade for The King
The bow pump shoes will be in a size 10 handmade for The King

Kay Smart, supervisor, said: “He’s such a lovely guy. He stopped and talked to my mum when he visited. She loved it. I’m very proud to have made his shoes – it’s pretty cool.”

Chelise Porter met the then Prince of Wales when he toured the factory – he watched her sew with a boar hair needle.

She said: “It’s very special to say you’ve met the King. I’ll be watching, I’m fascinated by the Royal Family. It’s going to be fantastic.”

And the question everyone wants to know? How much for a pair of handmade bespoke shoes? About £3,500, but they should last you decades and they are fit for a King.