Royal Wedding’s parchment poem

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PRINCE William and Kate Middleton are set to receive a romantic wedding present to remember from Milton Keynes.

For the winning verse in the city’s Royal Wedding poetry competition is to be printed on parchment and presented to the happy couple.

And it will be the same locally-made parchment that the actual marriage certificate is printed upon, the Citizen can reveal.

Newport Pagnell vellum producers William Cowley were one of the earliest firms to be selected to supply the Royal Wedding.

The 150-year-old family firm is the only such supplier in the country and one of only four parchment makers in the world. Now they have offered to produced another VIP scroll – specially for the city’s winning poem.

William and Kate’s marriage certificate has already been made by worker Lee Mapley out of the softest and finest calf vellum,

William Cowley general manager Paul Wright said: “Documents and certificates that are of value will be on parchment and vellum because it lasts so long,

“This is a huge, huge honour for us.”

Parchments are usually made from sheep skin, while vellum can be made of goat or calf skin.

The poem will be printed on a sheet of vellum parchment that takes up to six weeks to produce.

Milton Keynes Council is urging would-be poets to compose verses fit for such parchment before the April 8 deadline.

The competition, launched by city mayor Debbie Brock, is divided into three categories – age 12 and under, age 13 to 18 and adults.

Poems must be up to 20 lines in length. They should be original and capture the joy of the Royal celebration. All winners will be invited to an awards ceremony on Thursday April 21 and will receive a certificate.

Entries can be emailed to or posted to the Mayor’s Office, Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ.