HRH The Duke of York Prince Andrew visits Milton Keynes

HRH The Duke of York Prince Andrew paid a visit to a number of companies and organisations in Milton Keynes today as part of a series of vistis around the country.

He started his day visiting Niftylift, manufacturers of cherry pickers and other lifting equipment, in Stonebridge, before heading over to the UK headquarters of Mercedes in Tongwell.

He then headed to Newport Pagnell to see cookery and hospitality apprentices at work with De Vere’s training academy.

Dan McKay is a level three cookery apprentice who got to meet and speak to the prince.

He said: “He was really talkative and not what I expected actually.

“He was talking to us and having a laugh and a joke, asking us about how we got into it and watching our demonstrations.

“He asked about our knives and knife safety too, because when he was there one of the lads cut himself.”

Kellie Rixon, managing director of the De Vere academy, said Prince Andrew’s visit is an endorsement of what the company is trying to do for young people.

She said: “We started the academy initiative as part of our corporate social responsibility – we felt a responsibility as a large employer to train future stars of our industry.

“About ten per cent of apprentices go on to work with De Vere, and about 50 to 55 per cent go on to work with our competitors.”

After his visit there, the Duke drove to Bletchley Park for a private dinner, in which MK NEWS understands he talked about the value of apprenticeships and education linking up with businesses, and talked about the work being done to revamp Bletchley Park.

He then toured Bletchley Park, and unveiled a stone tribute to Royal Blue, a pigeon trained by his grandfather King George VI and which was the first to return from behind enemy lines in the Second World War with a message from troops.

The tribute will now be displayed in the stables section of Bletchley Park.

For more on this story, see next week’s MK NEWS

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

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