Not your typical sampler. When Kirsten Fitzgerald enrolled, her friends asked: "'Isn't it just full of grannies?' And I'm like, 'No, most of us are quite young. We're not sort of all 80.'"
Students of all ages come from all over the world, with and without career aspirations.
The school offers everything from day classes to a three-year degree course...
And yes, there are men in the school. In Henry VIII's time, professional embroiderers were ALL men.
"I look at some pieces and I think, 'Wow, we worked on that!'" said Amanda Berry.
These women were the best students, who considered it a privilege to stay and work on restoration projects and commissions.
"You got to be patient," she sighed. "Yeah, a good back always helps!"
For Margaret Dier, after 18 years there's the satisfaction of value added.
"A bit of me is going into that, and it will be there after I've gone," she said.
You could hear the proverbial pin drop - or more likely, a needle - in this room filled with history and secret-keeping.
Moments after Kate Middleton married Prince William last April, it was revealed that, sure enough, the Royal School of Needlework was responsible for the elaborate lace applique on Kate's dress, veil and train.
Of course, the school is working on something special for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, but what exactly is still a secret.
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