Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench to help bring Mary Rose’s history to life at new Portsmouth Historic Dockyard exhibition

A FAMOUS face is helping bring Tudor history to life at a new immersive experience at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:55 am

Dame Judi Dench will introduce a new Mary Rose exhibition set to open later this month.

The exhibition, named 1545 after the year the Mary Rose sank, will be launched at the home of the Tudor warship at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Oscar-winning actress said: ‘I remember being one of the millions who watched The Mary Rose being raised from the Solent in 1982, and it’s a memory that has stayed with me ever since.

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A family watches a preview of the new 1545 experience at The Mary Rose exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A family watches a preview of the new 1545 experience at The Mary Rose exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

‘Her incredible story both before she sank and now afterwards reveals so much about our history and 1545, as a new immersive experience is a great introduction to those fateful final moments overseen by King Henry VIII.’

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The exhibition will recreate the final moments of Henry VIII’s flagship.

The Mary Rose lay undiscovered on the seabed of the Solent just outside Portsmouth for hundreds of years before she was located in 1971.

Dame Judi Dench Picture: Steve Robards

After 10 years of excavation by divers, including the Prince of Wales, the hull was raised in front of a global television audience of 60 million in October 1982.

Dominic Jones, CEO of the Mary Rose Museum, said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to bring to life the final moments of the Mary Rose with 1545 – as a spectacular interactive experience.

‘It’s an exciting addition for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard over the summer holidays and will give visitors a way to understand how her story as a warship ended, and how ours as a museum began.’

A family watches a video performance by a Henry VIII interpreter during a preview of the new 1545 experience at The Mary Rose exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The 1545 experience will open to the public on July 26 to coincide with the start of the school summer holidays and in the same month 476 years ago that the Mary Rose sank.

The Mary Rose hit the headlines earlier this year when research by Portsmouth and Cardiff universities revealed that the ship had a multinational crew.

Researchers looked at the bone structure and DNA of 10 skeletons found on board before concluding four of the skeletons were of southern European heritage, with one seemingly from Morocco or Algeria.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The new immersive experience, which will be introduced by Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench, will allow visitors to be fully immersed in the Battle of the Solent and relive the final breath-taking moments on board King Henry VIII's favourite ship. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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