HRH The Prince of Wales visits Chartwell
Today, (Monday 5 June) HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust, visited Chartwell in Kent, the former family home of Sir Winston Churchill, to see the work of the Trust and the important collection at the property, and to thank those who have pledged money to the National Trust’s appeal to secure hundreds of Churchill’s possessions for the nation.
A public appeal for £7.1 million was launched in September last year. 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 the conservation charity to acquire many important items.
The Prince was given a tour of the house and was able to see some of the objects that have been secured through the appeal.
Objects that have been acquired include Churchill’s speech box; a collection of over 40 medals; freedom awards from many towns, cities and countries; drawings and paintings of Churchill’s parents; and a commemorative birthday book signed by almost every sitting MP in 1954 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
In addition to securing objects in the collection, money raised from the appeal will also enable new rooms and spaces to be opened, including Churchill’s bedroom, along with interactive interpretation and educational programmes.
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.”