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A Right Royal Gift

It took artist Luelan five conch shells to fashion this flower.

A unique wedding gift prompted a royal acknowledgement this month as local artist Luelan Bodden received a personal letter of thanks from the Office of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Mr. Bodden, a professional artist for the last 12 years, appreciated the recognition, the more so since his gift almost failed to make it to the royal couple.

"After sharing my idea with the Governor's Office, they gave me a mailing address, but when it arrived in the UK, the courier company told me they would have to return the package. They couldn't clear it because personal gifts weren't being accepted unless from invited guests," Mr. Bodden explained.

Never one for giving up, Mr. Bodden again turned to the Governor's Office for help and the gift was finally accepted. His unique hibiscus bloom creation, crafted from conch shells and local mahogany, became one of very few personal gifts to reach the royal couple.

"Getting it to Prince William and his fiancÚ wasn't easy and I had to try every avenue. I thank the Governor's Office because without their help, there wouldn't have been a happy outcome," Mr. Bodden said.

The piece took some seven weeks to create and needed material from five conch shells to fashion the flower. Mr. Bodden mounted it on mahogany taken from a fallen tree he found in East End.

"I never expected any letter, but it is satisfying. I feel honoured to have received it," he concluded.

Even as he celebrates this artistic career highlight, Mr. Bodden is already moving on to other pieces and new challenges. Right now, he is "seeking the right home" for the four-foot iguana he has crafted from driftwood.

((GIS)

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver