London floods leaves Princess Diana’s dressmaker’s designs ‘ruined’

Muddy floodwaters from torrential downpours in London have damaged garments created by one of Princess Diana’s go-to dressmakers.

It comes after more than an inch of rain fell in the capital in under one hour on Tuesday, causing flash floods in Knightsbridge that seeped into luxury shops and offices in the area.

Jacques Azagury, who owns Azagury Designs, told the BBC how mud had ruined his shop floor as firefighters worked to pump out water. He described the flooding as a “disaster” for his shop.

“Pretty much all the garments downstairs have been ruined,” he said.

“Obviously, I’m a bit anxious but with all these natural disasters you just get on with it and do the best you can to clean up.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take or when we’re going to be able to reopen again,” added Azagury. “It depends how much help we get.”

In the 1980s, Azagury, who has also created clothes for Dame Helen Mirren and Sheridan Smith, would visit the late Diana at her apartment near Kensington Palace for dress fittings.

As floodwater began building up in London on Monday night, commuters shared images and videos of vehicles driving through the brown water.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said the force was called out to 114 floods between midnight and 8am on Tuesday.

A yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office for the north and north east of England will remain in place until midnight as further heavy downpours are expected.

It marks the third time this year London has been hit by torrential rain, after one month’s worth of rain fell in one day in July. Just two weeks later, severe flash flooding hit parts of the capital, submerging some London Underground stations and blocking dozens of roads.

According to the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections (UKCP), the UK’s climate is showing a “trend towards wetter winters and drier summers on average”.

Using a high resolution climate model, the Met Office said that the “intensity of rainfall is expected to increase in future summers”, adding: “This suggests that summers may tend to become drier overall but when it does rain it will fall in heavier bursts, which has implications for flash flooding.”

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “Flash flooding in some areas of London last night is causing concern and anxiety for many Londoners and it shows once again that the dangers of climate change have moved closer to home.

“It remains a key priority for the mayor and London’s council leaders that more is urgently done to tackle the risk of surface water flooding and the other impacts of the climate crisis.”

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