PRINCESS Anne came to the borough on Wednesday morning to celebrate 40 years of a globally renowned furniture company.

The Princess Royal visited Clive Christian Furniture, in Farnworth, which has supplied luxury interiors to some of the world's most notable residences over four decades.

More than 30 schoolchildren from Ferns Primary Academy cheered and waved union flags as has she arrived by car at the firm's workshop in St Germain Street.

She waved to the youngsters, aged between seven and 11, before embarking on a tour of the factory.

Rachel Swindlehurst, marketing manager at Clive Christian Furniture, said the royal visit was an honour for the company and its highly skilled workforce.

She said: "She was here to acknowledge the craftsmen and women who work here, most of whom have done more than 20 years with the company.

"It's a really lovely story of a small northern workshop making furniture that ends up in palaces and huge houses — some of the most expensive retail estate across the globe.

"It's all handmade and the level of detail is quite rare, that's why it as renowned as it is."

And she added it was a well deserved honour for the firm's craftsmen.

She said: "It's great, because they're a really nice bunch of blokes that make this beautiful furniture. They are all long servers and that's to be celebrated.

"Everyone was very excited because these things don't happen very often and its nice to be acknowledged. Our staff are very proud, it's an acknowledgement of their time served and what they do day in and day out."

She added: "We are phenomenal ambassadors for UK craftmanship across the globe, and that's down to the attention to detail of our guys and girls."

Video by Imran Adam

Ferns Academy pupil Jessica Leach brought a bouquet of flowers which were later to presented to the princess by Clive Christian Furniture, on the school's behalf.

The 10-year-old said: "I was very excited, it was really kind of her to wave to us and didn't ignore us, it's the first time I've seen a member of the royal family."

Mason Devine, aged 10, added: "I was very excited because I've never seen royalty before, it was a once in a lifetime moment.

"It was really nice of her to wave, normally you don't get anything unless they are giving a big speech."

And Joseph Carter, aged 11, said: "It was extremely exciting, I've never seen royalty before, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity I'll remember for a long time."

Before she arrived at the factory, Princess Anne's helicopter was seen landing at Hulton Lane Playing Fields.