PRINCE Harry is visiting Portsmouth Naval Base today to award medals to sailors who served in Iraq and take a look around the Mary Rose Museum.
Harry, who is the naval Commodore-In-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, will hand out operational medals to sailors of HMS Grimsby, HMS Middleton and HMS Shoreham who served on the minehunting ships in Iraq. Mine Warfare Battle Staff deployed to the country will also be awarded medals.
The prince will then hot foot it across to the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to lay the foundation stone of the new museum which will open in Autumn next year.
John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: ‘The Mary Rose Trust is thrilled that Prince Harry will lay the Foundation Stone of our new museum. This ceremony marks a very important milestone in the long project to conserve and exhibit this iconic ship and her unique collection of artefacts.
‘It is notable that we are doing this on the 500th anniversary of her launch and in a location which is just a few dozen yards from where she was built.’
A 2011 time capsule will be buried in the floor of the new museum by pupils from Haslemere Preparatory School.
The Tudor warship sunk off the Isle of Wight in 1545 while leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet. The wreck was discovered in 1971 and salvaged in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust, which won a £21 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete a £35 million project for the conservation of the hull and to build a permanent museum, which will open Autumn next year.