Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
HRH Prince Charles 'privileged' to open Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum in Stanmore
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall opened the new Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum today.
The royal couple were given a guided tour of the new museum in Stanmore, where they met veterans including veteran female fighter controllers who were based at the Priory.
The priory played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War and was the base from which Air Chief Marshal Dowding planned the defence of the country.
Speaking outside the museum to a crowd of veterans and guests, HRH Prince Charles said: “I have to say I am immensely privileged to be here today as patron of the Bentley Priory Museum Trust.
“The great thing about this project is we have saved Bentley Priory as a museum and an education centre so younger generations can learn about the sacrifices made during the Battle of Britain.
“I am very proud we have been able to secure a future for Bentley Priory and I would like to thank all those who have helped make it happen.”
During the tour, time was given to veterans of the ‘beauty chorus’, who were wartime members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.
They played a crucial role in identifying and intercepting incoming Luftwaffe bombers and relayed information to squadrons around the country.
After a short tour of the museum, the Prince and Duchess joined veterans from the Battle of Britain in the Ballroom for a cup of tea.
The Prince became patron of the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust to ensure public access to site was not lost and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust acted as facilitator and impartial adviser for the project.
In the priory's gardens, Air Chief Marshall Sir Brian Burridge, the chairman of trustees of the musuem, introduced Prince Charles.
He said: "Today marks the culmination of eight long years of hard work.
“But we have created an exciting and highly relevant museum and learning centre which will serve as a symbol of the huge significance of the Battle of Britain and of the determination and sacrifice of those involved.”
After a speech in the gardens of the Priory that was briefly interrupted by a fly past, the prince unveiled a bust of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, who led RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
To end the day a Hurricane and Spitfire flew above the museum.
Comments are closed on this article.