Chair for George ready just after christening

2013-10-23 00:00

THOUGH it’s a private ceremony, television cameras will doubtless be focusing on St James’s Palace in London today when Prince George, third in line to the British throne and the first child of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is christened in the Chapel Royal by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Further south, in kwaDukuza (formerly Stanger), Kuber Eadhev Singh (72), aka “Tambuti” Singh and often called the Tambuti king, will definitely be tuning in — suspending work on the chair he is busy creating for the three-month-old prince for just a little while.

Singh began work on the chair in August, continuing a Singh family tradition of making handcrafted furniture for the British royals from tambuti wood. The tradition goes back to 1972 and Princess Anne’s marriage to Mark Phillips. “My father was invited to the wedding but couldn’t go so he made a gift instead,” said Singh. “It was a writing desk made from tambuti with a lid that opened.”

The invitation came about because the Singhs are also royals, with links to the royal Singh family of Agra, he says.

Since then Singh has made a jewellery box for Princess Diana on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 and another that he presented to Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Durban in 1995.

Following the death of the Queen Mother at the age of 101 in 2002, he made a wooden cross in her memory.

When Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, Singh presented them with a “handcrafted table on which they can keep a Bible, or a candle, or whatever they want”.

All these items were made from tambuti wood. “Tambuti is the king of the trees,” says Singh.

Singh hopes to complete the chair in the next two weeks and will then have it couriered to the royal couple in Britain.

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