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The former chief designer at French fashion house Christian Dior has moved to Hartnell's, London couturier to Queen Elizabeth, the British firm said Tuesday.

Marc Bohan, 63, said he looked forward to future royal patronage as Hartnell's artistic and design director.

"To have the unique opportunity of playing a key role in the revitalization of a fashion house with such a splendid history is an inspiring challenge which I am looking forward to with excitement," he told reporters.

Hartnell has been troubled with bankruptcy threats and resignations since its founder, Sir Norman Hartnell, died in 1979.

Hartnell Chairman Manny Silverman said he had chosen Bohan because "if we were to make the quantum leap into the major leagues, we have to have someone with an international reputation."

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