It is no secret that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge share a love of Africa: Prince William first visited the country during his gap year and the couple got engaged on a safari holiday in Kenya. So what better gift to mark the birth of their son, Prince George, than a sterling silver figurine of an African animal?
William and Kate’s closest friends have bought presents for the baby from upmarket designer Patrick Mavros, who has shops in London, Harare and Mauritius, Daily Mail reported.
The Duchess has long been a fan of Mavros – she discovered him when she was designing jewellery at Jigsaw and bought £70 crocodile stud earrings, £150 Ndoro drop earrings and a £250 Zozo elephant pendant – and has taken her mother and sister to the Fulham Road shop.
Now she has introduced Prince William and Prince Harry to the designer, and she and William are believed to be collecting the firm’s miniatures to decorate their apartment in Kensington Palace.
A fourth-generation native of Zimbabwe, Mavros was born in 1954 in Matabeleland, a province in the country’s western region. His grandfather Stamati Mavros emigrated from Greece to Durban, South Africa, in 1901, while his mother’s side hails from Scotland, as he writes in his webpage.
According to Mavros, Stamati needed the advice of a lawyer, and since “no self-respecting English lawyer would represent a Greek,” his grandfather “sought the council of an Indian gentleman, Mr. Mahatma Gandhi.”
In 1902, Stamati settled in what was at the time Southern Rhodesia, married a lovely lady named Aphrodite, and fathered six children, one of whom was Patrick Mavros’s dad. In his youth, Mavros would tirelessly explore his tough, rural bush environment by climbing trees, swimming in streams, catching birds and watching with fascination the many kinds of animals that surrounded the family home.
His life took a turn for the worse, however, when at the age of five he began showing signs of polio. Even though his father was a doctor, the road to recovery was arduous.
The Patrick Mavros brand was founded 35 years ago when the then-soldier, Patrick, carved a pair of earrings for his wife, Catja. She wore them to the hair salon, where the hairdresser fell in love with them and instantly requested a pair for herself.
From this loving gift, the business was born into what is recognised today as a uniquely African and distinctively exotic, luxury brand. The Mavros sons, Alexander, Forbes, Patrick Jnr and Benjamin are also all passionately involved in the business.
From day one the boys were engrossed in the workshop, experimenting with materials and designs: starting with heavy rough-hewn rock crystals they dug up from the farm, suspended them from fishing line for their adoring and patient mother to wear!
Marrying intricate craftsmanship with an intrepid family heritage, the Mavros’ have not only designed some of the most extraordinary creations in Africa but have also created around them an environment just as magical and bold.
At home, the workshops, the family homestead, the wildlife sanctuary and the studio are all built to form a small village on the family estate in the wild hills outside Harare in Zimbabwe.CA0316_mavros_screen