When jewelry designer Elizabeth Galton wanted to start her career, she turned to the royal’s charity, Prince's Trust.
The organization, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the U.K.
Now, after getting a royal boost to her career, Galton leads the creative side of one of Princess Kate's favorite jewelry makers, Mappin & Webb, which also happens to be one of Queen Elizabeth's jewelers.
And Galton was able to thank Charles, 67, and his mother the Queen, 89, personally at a party marking the 40th anniversary of the trust this week. "It was exceptional to see them together," she tells PEOPLE.
Courtesy Mappin & Webb
"They were very charming. It was just remarkable to see them together. It never ceases to amaze me that they must have so many people that they see in the course of a year, and yet they always make you feel there is a genuine interest in you as an individual.
"That really stood out when you could see them side by side talking to the young people as they went around the room."
And there were plenty of people for the royal duo to join in conversation as there were lots of success stories present from the 825,000 young people helped in the organization’s 40 years.
Galton, who is creative director of Mappin & Webb, says she turned to the Prince's Trust, which aids those who might not otherwise get help in business and enterprise, when she was 18 or 19 years old and set to start her studies at Central Saint Martins School of Art in London.
Her parents weren’t wealthy – and jewelry making is a tough world to break into when it comes to the expensive raw materials and intricate equipment needed.
"It was something I really needed assistance with,” she says. “My mother had some difficulties that impacted on my early life, and the Prince's Trust would have also taken that into account.”
The grant enabled her to set up a "very modest" workshop in her father's garden shed, and she also had a travel bursary to study at a botanical gardens in South Africa. "A lot of my earlier work for my own brand was focused around orchids. Without having had that award, it would have been very difficult," she tells PEOPLE.
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Now, she is paying her gratitude forward by mentoring two young people, who come to her through the trust. One is an ex-offender and budding tailor in Savile Row who has "significantly turned his life around."
During Tuesday's party, she says the Queen wanted to know about her role at Mappin & Webb, while Charles "was interested in the mentoring work that I do. He understands that it takes a lot of investment in terms of time that needs to be dedicated."
"For any young entrepreneurs, particularly young creative, it's enormously difficult for them to get any kind of backing or seed funding whether that’s from banks or investors," she says.
"In previous generations, particularly working class backgrounds, there was a real sense of community and love and nurture from parents. A lot of people don’t have that now and perhaps come from a one-parent home or are struggling with difficult problems, like drug abuse or alcohol, and they feel the world is against them. The trust gives them a lifeline so they can see that they have potential.
"And this is all from an idea that was sown 40 years ago. It's quite extraordinary what it has grown into."