Duchess of Cambridge delves into family’s past during Bletchley Park visit

The Duchess of Cambridge walked in her grandmother’s footsteps at Bletchley Park on Wednesday, meeting veterans who worked alongside her in the newly restored Codebreaking Hut 6.

Valerie Glassborow, the royal visitor’s paternal grandmother, worked in Hut 16 (as Hut 6 was renamed) towards the end of the war, as a Foreign Office civilian.

Duchess of Cambridge meets Mayor of Milton Keynes Subhan Shafiq

Duchess of Cambridge meets Mayor of Milton Keynes Subhan Shafiq

Few records of her work for the Government Code and Cypher School have survived.

As she visited Bletchley Park to mark the completion of the £8 million restoration – supported with a £4.9m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, the Duchess also saw the vibrant new Block C Visitor Centre and planted a tree to commemorate the occasion.

Sir John Scarlett, whochairs the Bletchley Park Trust, said “The work at Bletchley Park made an immense contribution to the victory of Great Britain and our Allies in World War Two. It was a great honour to welcome The Duchess and to show her where her grandmother worked, especially now that Hut 6, along with other fragile buildings, has been restored to create a permanent and fitting tribute to the thousands of men and women whose work helped to shorten the war.”

Iain Standen, the Trust’s chief executive, added: “Our many visitors can now experience the conditions in which the codebreakers worked.

“During her visit, The Duchess was able to hear first-hand memories of her grandmother from her Bletchley Park colleagues, demonstrating how veterans’ recollections are central to telling this remarkable story, which is why they are embedded throughout our new displays.”

Heritage Lottery Fund chief executive Carole Souter said: “The Bletchley story is fascinating, all the more so because of the level of secrecy that surrounded the house and park until relatively recently.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is proud to be associated with Bletchley Park, a place that speaks of quiet dedication, honour and excellence.

“We congratulate the Trust and its team for completing this major redevelopment project, a fitting memorial to all who worked at Bletchley during the Second World War.”