On Thursday, The Earl of Wessex toured Buckinghamshire, visiting WWII’s code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, Scripture Union and Bell Cambridge language school on a number of official engagements.
Prince Edward began his day to see the recently upgraded exhibitions in Bletchley Park, discovering the well kept secrets of code-breakers from World War Two. The decryption hub was the focus of Britains code-breaking, attempting to penetrate the secret communications of the Axis Powers, most notably the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers.
Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “We were honoured to welcome The Earl of Wessex today and to show him some of the highlights of Bletchley Park, including the restored Hut 6, where Enigma messages were decrypted, and our new ‘Off Duty’ exhibition. Our staff, volunteers and visitors were all thrilled to see him and were touched by his enthusiasm for the museum.”
It is estimated that the work of Bletchley’s teams shortened the war by a number of years, saving thousands, if not millions of lives.
Then, the Earl spent time at a faith-based children’s charity – Scripture Union in Milton Keynes. The aim of this charity is to engage Christians enthusiastically with the Bible and grow in their faith. They were founded over 150 years ago and work throughout 120 countries spreading God’s good news known to children, young people and families.
Faith is important to the Royal Family, even more acutely so as The Queen is Head of the Church of England.
— Scripture Union (@SUEnglandWales) April 27, 2017
Prince Edward officially opened a new office that was celebrated through a short speech to a small crowd and marked by the unveiling of a plaque, jovial with jokes throughout his short speech.
Arriving later in Cambridge, The Earl of Wessex visited the English language school and education provider Bell Cambridge. Students, whose first language is not English, presented projects to Prince Edward; they focused in areas such as music, art and food of their culture.
Frank Pinner, Principal at Bell Cambridge, said: “Our students have been busy preparing their projects to show The Earl of Wessex about their culture and to show what they have learnt about British culture. It’s a great experience for them to practice their English with The Earl of Wessex!”
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 27, 2017
The Earl also opened a new development at Wesley House, an international postgraduate college firmly rooted in the Methodist tradition and located in the University city of Cambridge.
We were pleased to welcome HRH the Earl of Wessex this week as Wesley House was formally rededicated. pic.twitter.com/PFPVY1tKqF
— Wesley House (@wesleyhousecam) April 29, 2017
Prince Edward finished the day by attending an evensong service and reception to commemorate South Africa Freedom day at Westcott House. Westcott House is an Anglican theological college and prepares men and women for public ministry. Edward is an active Patron of the House Development scheme.
Commenting on the visit the Principal said: “Westcott is honoured to enjoy The Earl’s active Patronage, and his ongoing interest in the life of the community. With its accents on community leadership, peace-building and conflict-resolution, the work of the Desmond Tutu Centre will build on our core strengths and make a strategic impact at a time of much global turbulence.”