Portsmouth’s £3m indoor sports complex, the Mountbatten Centre, was to have a royal official conducted by Prince Andrew.
News of the sailor prince’s first official visit to Portsmouth delighted city officials, especially Charles Mos, the chairman of the committee masterminding the prestige complex in Alexandra Park.
‘The letter came this morning with its wonderful news for Portsmouth. We especially wanted a member of the royal family to open the centre, because it is named after Earl Mountbatten.’
However, finalising the April opening date would have to depend on the movements of the Prince’s ship, HMS Invincible. The aircraft carrier left Portsmouth this week, heading for the Caribbean and a weapons exercise with the US Navy.