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What it takes to craft a seat fit for the King

 The seat King Charles III sat on at State House during his visit to Kenya.

It is not every other day that Kenya hosts a king. And when the King happens to be the head of the Commonwealth, a conglomeration of 56 nations with 2.5 billion people, any host must pull all stops to ensure the comforts of the visiting dignitary.

This week, King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla were in town at the invitation of President William Ruto. The formal activities in front of cameras included the usual military honours and meeting the top government officials.

Thereafter the king needed to sit down for some briefing by his host. Several images from State House show both King Charles III and his host, President Ruto, resting on immaculate seats for a tete-a-tete.

Now, the king does not just sit on any chair. One must be specifically crafted for him from scratch by some of the best craftsmen in the country. We cannot disclose the men and women behind the seats due to non-disclosure agreements that bind such suppliers, but we can reveal the work that went into the making of a seat fit for the King.

Our sources tell us that the order to craft two executive presidential seats was received by the supplier about a week to the October 31st visit.

One seat, our sources told us, was designated for King Charles, and the other for President Ruto. Each seat was meticulously designed with custom dimensions to ensure optimal comfort. Actual size drawings of the custom-made chairs were created before the manufacturing process commenced.

 The making of the King's seat. [Courtesy]

"The custom-made presidential chairs are expertly fashioned from solid, treated Mahogany. The Mahogany usually undergoes a meticulous three-month kiln treatment in a controlled environment to achieve the ideal moisture content level, guaranteeing durability, longevity, and superior quality. Following this, the wood is exposed to natural air for an additional six months to acclimatise to the local environment. A dedicated team of three craftsmen prepared the timber for manufacturing, a process that took four hours."

With the right wood in place, three highly skilled carpenters utilized fasteners, binding, and adhesives to ensure seamless joints, enhancing both strength and flexibility, the joinery and carving process taking a total of 16 hours.

Flaws in wood, we were told, can possess a certain charm, but any imperfections from machinery were meticulously removed by hand by master sanders to create a distinctive process of regular sanding and polishing wood experts are known for. "A total of six craftsmen dedicated their skills to perfecting the two chairs, transforming them into true masterpieces in a sanding and polishing process that took 12 hours."

 A carpenter carefully makes patterns on the seat. [Courtesy]

The padding, springs, and webbing were installed with a focus on comfort, ergonomics, and functionality. A custom fabric was selected for the two chairs with a team of four artisans completing the upholstery process in 7 hours. The results were two bespoke "power seats", beige in colour.

"The final touches were expertly applied in just two hours by two skilled carpenters and the seats delivered to the House on the Hill on October 27th, well in advance of the anticipated visit."

And how much does one seat cost? This is one piece of information our source kept to himself.

 Final touches before the seat was delivered. [Courtesy]

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