The Duke of Cambridge paid a touching tribute to the £300-million Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, in a ceremony that handed over the facility to the nation.
The Kensington Palace posted a social media update about UK’s new facility for the rehabilitation center dedicated to armed forces.
On June 21, marking his 36th birthday, Prince William was among the 300 attendees at the event, which also included donors, staff members, and other public figures.
As reported by The Telegraph, the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) has been built in Nottinghamshire's Stanford Hall Estate and is equipped with high-end treatment facilities for veterans.
In the ceremony, the center was handed over from the hands of the Headley Court of Surrey to the nation.
The Headley Court had offered remarkable services for the country’s servicemen and women for over 70 years, including several veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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The idea of building a world-class rehabilitation center for wounded veterans has been attributed to Gerald Grosvenor, who was the 6th Duke of Westminster.
Grosvenor initiated the fundraising for the project, contributing £70 million himself. After his demise in 2016, his son Hugh Grosvenor, who became the 7th Duke of Westminster took over the initiative.
He handed over the DNRC to the country, with Prime Minister Theresa May accepting the gift on behalf of the nation.
Prince William delivered a speech at the event, in which he commended the success of the fundraising initiative which made the deceased Duke’s vision a reality.
Among the listeners gathered for the ceremony were historian Dan Snow, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter.
The most recent ambassador of the DNRC is Billy Monger, a motor racing professional who resumed his career after a near-fatal accident.
Prince William also read out a poem that won the DNRC’s national poem competition titled A Poem to Remember.
The attendees, consisting of the builders, local health authorities, Grosvenor family members, supporters and donors of the fundraiser also witnessed the unveiling the statue of Major General Sir Robert Jones.
While the DNRC has been gifted to the nation for the care of its veterans, discussions of opening a civilian facility for the NHS are also underway.