Prince of Wales visits to meet the team and thank supporters of the Chartwell appeal

On Monday 5 June HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust, visited Chartwell to see our work and the important collection here, and to thank those who have supported our ‘Keep Churchill at Chartwell’ appeal to help reinvigorate Churchill’s legacy at Chartwell and secure hundreds of Churchill’s possessions for the nation.

Reaching new milestones in the Chartwell appeal

In September 2016 we embarked on an ambitious journey to raise £7.1 million in order to secure over 1,000 of Churchill’s belongings for the nation.

The appeal has now reached the £6 million mark, thanks to a grant of £3.45 million from The National Lottery and generous donations and pledges from the public, charitable trusts and other organisations which have enabled us to acquire many important items.

The Prince’s visit

Our staff and volunteers were thrilled to give The Prince a tour of the house and to show him some of the objects that have been secured through the appeal so far.

These objects include Churchill’s speech box, where he placed his iconic speeches, a collection of over 40 medals, freedom awards from many towns, cities and countries along with drawings and paintings of Churchill’s parents. A commemorative birthday book signed by almost every sitting MP in 1954 on the occasion of his 80th birthday is also in the mix of unique and irreplaceable objects.

Zoë Colbeck, general manager for Chartwell said: “It was a great honour to welcome The Prince of Wales to Chartwell today and to introduce him to staff, volunteers and some of the many people across the world who have supported the appeal.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people and we would like to thank Trust members and supporters, players of the National Lottery, and organisations such as the Wolfson Foundation and the Royal Oak Foundation, for helping us to keep such an important collection at Chartwell and to undertake a three year project to ensure Churchill’s legacy is relevant for the 21st century.”

“We’re delighted that we have almost reached our target but we will continue to fundraise so that we can complete our acquisition of the final objects in the collection, such as the Nobel Prize for Literature, and our wider project that will ensure Churchill’s legacy for future generations at the home he loved.”

What next for the Chartwell appeal?

In addition to securing objects in the collection, money raised from the appeal will also enable new rooms and spaces to be opened. These spaces include Churchill’s bedroom, complete with en suite bathroom, as well as the Secretaries Room which was quite possibly the organisational hub of Chartwell. Churchill’s legacy will be brought to life further with interactive interpretation and educational programmes.

Thanks to the thoughtful generosity of our supporters, we have been able to acquire many of Churchill’s items in our appeal. We are continuing to fundraise though so that the final objects, such as the Nobel Prize for Literature, can also be secured for the nation.