The Duke of Edinburgh today opened the Warner Stand at Lord’s cricket ground, named after former England captain Sir Pelham Warner.
The stand originally opened 59 years ago, but redevelopment started in 2015. The work cost £25 million, and was funded entirely by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). It was the first major renovation at the ground since 1998 and took around two years to build.
Prince Philip cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque to open the Warner Stand, with guests joining him in Pelham’s, the stand’s new restaurant for lunch.
Prince Phillip has a long association with MCC. The Duke was awarded honorary life membership in 1948, and served as the club’s President, from 1949-50 and 1974-75. Phillip was seen sporting the same red and yellow tie as other members of the club.
The revamped Warner Stand has a capacity of 2,656 seats and is ‘more environmentally friendly’, than its predecessor. The stand has a number of solar panels, to provide electricity and hot water to the ground, and includes a new restaurant, with improved views of the field. The stand will open to the public for the first time when England square-off against Ireland in the second One-Day International on Sunday 7th May.
Prince Philip, 95, at Lord’s cricket ground, uttering one of his favourite lines: pic.twitter.com/pltAwfbhai
— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) May 3, 2017
Lords is seen as the ‘Mecca’ of cricket worldwide, and is home to the oldest sporting museum in the world. The ground, dubbed “the home of cricket”, was established in 1814, during the Regency of George VI for his father George III. The pavilion was built during Victorian times, and still stands proudly, attracting the attention of thousands of cricket fans. The historic landmark, which is classified as a Grade II listed building, underwent an £8 million refurbishment in 2004–05.
“Today is a landmark moment for the Club, and we are very grateful to His Royal Highness for joining us to celebrate the official opening of the Warner Stand. MCC has always sought to commission innovative, unique buildings and stands that add to and complement the heritage of the ground and its surroundings. Populous’ design does just that, and this truly outstanding facility will be enjoyed by visitors to Lord’s for many years to come.”
However, it was announced today that Lords will postpone a further £98million rebuild until at least 2027. Work to redesign both the Allen and Tavern stands was originally set to start in 2016.