Princess Royal to open Tank Museum’s workshops

The Queen Mother and George VI viewing a Matilda II tank

The Princess Royal is to visit The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, to open the new workshops.

A newly-restored Second World War Matilda II tank has been named ‘Princess Royal’ in her honour and will be viewed by Her Royal Highness during the visit.

The workshops are the fourth phase of the museum’s redevelopment which has received £14m in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund over the last 12 years.

Situated next to the Vehicle Conservation Centre, the workshops will enable far more work to be carried out on the museum’s world-beating collection.

Museum director Richard Smith said: “We feel extremely honoured to have our new, state-of-the-art facility opened by The Princess Royal.

“The workshops will greatly increase the amount of conservation work that can be done on our collection.

“Surprisingly little is known about the long-term storage and operation of historic vehicles, and this is critical to ensuring we still have a collection in a hundred years.

“The workshops will help us to retain skills, develop new ones and train staff – including apprentices and volunteers – in how to care for these machines.

“Ultimately they will help us share the knowledge and the stories that we have here at the museum to a wider audience.

“One example of our work is the restoration of a Matilda II tank that we have named ‘Princess Royal’.”

The restoration project can be viewed on the museum’s You Tube channel under the heading ‘Matilda Diaries’.

The visit takes place on Friday 18 May.


For more information contact:

Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 – 07788392965

Or Roz Skellorn from the museum at:  Marketing@tankmuseum.org01929 405 096 x234






The Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset holds the national collection of tanks and brings the story of tanks and tank crews to life.

With over 300 tanks from 26 nations, The Tank Museum holds the finest and most historically significant collection of fighting armour in the world. These range from the world’s first ever tank, Little Willie, through to the British Army’s current Main Battle Tank, Challenger 2.

Eight powerful exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare spanning over 100 years of history. As you explore the Museum’s seven large halls, you come face with face to face with tanks and hear incredible true stories from the last century.

The Tank Museum is an independent Museum and registered Charity.