A CRAFTSMAN who built a sledge for Prince George has vowed to repeat the favour for Princess Charlotte – despite enduring a “nightmare” getting his gift to the third in line to the throne.

Last month (April) The Northern Echo reported how retired Malcolm Rolling had created a wooden toboggan for the 21-month-old Prince of Cambridge in just a few days in his back yard.

But the 72-year-old, from Carrville, Durham City, had no idea what a struggle he would have in giving away the present.

A sponsorship deal with a delivery firm was shelved after Kensington Palace insisted Royal Mail must be used.

But that proved impossible, with the Mail telling Mr Colling the sledge was six centimetres too long.

Eventually, a courier service was hired – but the problems didn’t stop there.

No-one had told the post room at the Palace to expect the sledge, so it was turned away – and would have been returned to the North-East had Mr Rolling’s wife Carol not been tracking its progress online.

She made several increasingly irate phone calls to convince the firm to re-deliver the gift the next day – and, thankfully, it was received with gratitude.

The episode was brought to a pleasing end with a letter from Kensington Palace thanking the Rollings for their kindness.

“It was a bit of a nightmare, but my Mrs sorted it out,” Mr Rolling said.

The former Durham University technician is far from ready to hang up his chisel, however, and has already pledged to make a sledge for Prince George’s young sister, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, who became Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child and fourth in line to the throne when she entered the world on Saturday, May 2.

“I’ve made Charlotte sledges before,” said Mr Rolling, who cuts names into the sides of the toys.

“Charlotte is quite long, nine characters; but I’ll do it. Then hopefully we’ll get some snow.”

Mr Rolling started making the sledges about six years ago and has since made more than 200, selling many to raise money for charity.