Prince William opens Staffordshire’s £15.7m Remembrance Centre


Prince William, Duke of Cambridge has officially opened the new £15.7 million Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Lord-Lieutenant, Ian Dudson CBE introduced David Whimpenny, NMA Chairman, Sarah Montgomery, NMA Managing Director and Patrick Cordingley, Chair of NMA Appeal Council to Prince William as he arrived. 

The group then took the Duke, who is a patron of the NMA Appeal, on a guided tour of the indoor Landscapes of Life exhibition.

He then spent time talking with veterans from all three branches of the armed forces and local schoolchildren who were eagerly awaiting him in Heroes’ Square.

During his visit, the Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death in the Westminster terror attack on Wednesday March 22. 

He was accompanied by Staffordshire Police’s Chief Constable Jane Sawyers to the Police Memorial Garden where he laid a wreath for the fallen officer.

A poignant handwritten message on the wreath said: “For PC Keith Palmer, and all those who have served our community so valiantly; your legacy is our way of life.”

Richard Upton, 64, Yoxall, who has volunteered at the National Memorial Arboretum for eight years said: “The Duke of Cambridge has come here today to formally open our visitor centre that we’ve only had since October.

“He had a look around the exhibition, which is something new for us because it tells us a bit about how Remembrance started and how it’s developed over the years.

A royal tribute to PC Palmer in the Police Memorial Garden

“He is probably the most well-known person we have had here since October 2016 when Her Majesty the Queen came here to open the Duke of Lancaster’s Memorial.”

A suitable memorial for PC Palmer was discussed in Parliament last week and Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The bravery shown by PC Keith Palmer and his act of sacrifice should be recognised in an appropriate way.”

Mr Upton said: “The police area is called ‘The Beat’ and all the way along that area there are tree dedications to police officers, both men and women, and in one or two instances police dogs.”

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round Centre for Remembrance which honours the fallen service men and women from our armed forces.

Watch the video to see more from the royal visit:


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