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Prince Charles unveils new Battle of Britain museum at Bentley Priory

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall look around the 'Filter Room' with Patrica Clark (second right) and Eileen Younghusband, both members of the 'Beauty Chorus', as they attend the opening of the new Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum in Stanmore. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall look around the 'Filter Room' with Patrica Clark (second right) and Eileen Younghusband, both members of the 'Beauty Chorus', as they attend the opening of the new Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum in Stanmore. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Thursday, September 12, 2013
5:03 PM

Second World War fighter planes swooped overhead as Prince Charles thanked the “remarkable” Battle of Britain veterans who helped win the war at their spiritual home.

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The Prince of Wales unveils the bust of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, who led RAF Fighter Command during the battle of Britain. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA WireThe Prince of Wales unveils the bust of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, who led RAF Fighter Command during the battle of Britain. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were visiting Bentley Priory in Harrow, the headquarters of Fighter Command during the decisive air battle. Prince Charles, who is patron of the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust, opened a new £9.5million museum at the mansion house today.

A Spitfire and a Hurricane flew low overhead as the Prince spoke to a crowd including 10 veterans of the air and eight women who assisted them from the ground, tracking enemy movements from what was known as the “filter room”.

Prince Charles told them: “Having just become a grandfather, one of the great things I remember when I was very small is having stories told to me about the war.

“I wanted to know everything in those days as I was born in 1948.”

The Duchess of Cornwall talks to veteran Ken Wilkinson during afternoon tea as she attends the opening of the new Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum in Stanmore. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA WireThe Duchess of Cornwall talks to veteran Ken Wilkinson during afternoon tea as she attends the opening of the new Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum in Stanmore. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Prince explained that during his youth he had been lucky enough to meet people who had risked their lives defending Britain as part of Fighter Command.

He added: “I at least have some idea of the remarkable nature of such people like, of course, the wonderful lady veterans who are here today from the filter room.

“At the age of 18, 19, 20 they were ensuring that this country never gave up.”

Prince Charles also unveiled a bust of Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, Fighter Command’s leader and creator of the strategy which saw Britain defeat Germany’s planes, averting Hitler’s planned invasion of the British Isles.

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