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We welcome CWGC President HRH The Princess Royal to our Head Office

HRH The Princess Royal at CWGC head office

We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to our global headquarters in Maidenhead yesterday afternoon – her first visit as our new President.

The Princess Royal was welcomed by our Vice Chairman, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson CB CBE, and our Director General, Claire Horton CBE, and met with staff and volunteers who help to care for Commonwealth War Graves in the UK and around the world. 

During the visit, Her Royal Highness toured the building and CWGC’s archives, learning more about our history and the major projects, opportunities, and challenges the organisation faces in keeping the memory of those who died alive for future generations.

Her Royal Highness was accompanied on the visit by HM Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr Andrew Try.

Following the tour, Her Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque to celebrate her appointment as President and her first visit to the organisation’s global headquarters and received several gifts from CWGC’s staff.

After the visit, Claire said, said: “It has been a real privilege for us to officially welcome Her Royal Highness as our new President and to share with her our global mission in commemoration of the fallen around the world in perpetuity. The Princess Royal seemed to enjoy the visit very much, speaking with staff and volunteers and learning all about the work we do across the world.”

“Her Royal Highness has visited vast numbers of our sites and memorials around the world during her travels and she shares the commitment of the wider CWGC family to ensure that those who lost their lives will always be remembered. We very much look forward to working with Her Royal Highness in the years to come.”

Headstone of The Hon F Bowes-LyonIntroducing her Royal Highness to For Evermore 

During her visit, we told Her Royal Highness the story of one of her relatives, Captain The Hon. Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who is commemorated by the CWGC at Quarry Cemetery, Vermelles, France. 

Fergus, age 26, was killed in action on 27 September 1915 while leading an attack on a German position known as the Hohenzollern Redoubt during the Battle of Loos. His daughter Rosemary was just two months old.

His story is now published on our new digital archive, For Evermore - Stories of the Fallen. For Evermore is an online portal collecting the stories of the men and women of the Commonwealth we commemorate. 

Read his story now

Our History with The Princess Royal

While newly appointed as President of the CWGC, The Princess Royal has had a long history of support for our work, having visited many of our cemeteries and memorials around the world. 

Most recently, Her Royal Highness made her first visit as President to one of our sites, visiting Colombo Liveramentu Cemetery while in Sri Lanka this January. 

Asmara War Cemetery 1973

On 10 February 1973 – almost 51 years ago to the day of her visit to our office – Her Royal Highness visited Asmara War Cemetery, Eritrea, during a two-week tour of what was then Ethiopia and The Sudan. 

HRH Princess Anne - Asmara War Cemetery

Malta Memorial 2004 

In 2004, Princess Anne visited Malta to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the island’s independence. During her trip, she visited the CWGC’s Malta Memorial, Floriana, where she laid a wreath and paid tribute to the nearly 2,300 airmen who lost their lives during the Second World War. 

Princess Anne at Malta Memorial

The CWGC Visitors Centre

We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to Beaurains in 2019. 

The Princess Royal was the guest of honour as we opened The CWGC Visitor Centre in France. The princess took a tour of our new site, seeing the hard work of our teams and meeting some of the key staff involved in bringing the visitors centre to life. 

Princess Anne opening the Visitor Centre

Etaples Military Cemetery 2022

Her Royal Highness also followed in her Great-Grandfather’s footsteps by visiting Etaples Military Cemetery in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of King George V’s ‘King’s Pilgrimage’.

The King’s Pilgrimage took place between 11-13th May 1922, as King George visited a number of newly constructed CWGC sites across France and Belgium, paying tribute to those who had fought and died in the First World War. 

HRH Princess Anne - Etaples

Archive photos of Princess Anne and the CWGC

We've delved into our archive to find some great snaps of The Princess Royal on some of her many visits to our cemeteries and memorials around the world. 

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