UK & World News

  • 18 June 2014, 11:32

Kate To Explore Family's Codebreaking Past

The Duchess of Cambridge will for the first time see where her grandmother worked as part of the Second World War codebreaking teams when she visits Bletchley Park today.

Kate's paternal grandmother, Valerie Glassborow, worked as a civilian duty officer of the Government Code and Cypher School, famed for its role in breaking German Enigma codes.

The work of Second World War codebreakers is thought to have shortened the war by two years.

During the visit to Bletchley Park, the Duchess will visit Hut 16, now restored as Hut 6, where documents dating back to October 1944 show her grandmother likely worked as a "Duty Officer".

Kate will also meet her grandmother's former colleague and veteran, Lady Marion Body, who recalls working with Valerie Glassborow and her twin sister Mary the day they heard the war in Europe had ended.

Kate's flying-ace grandfather, Peter Middleton, also played a crucial role in Britain's war effort as part of a group of elite RAF "top guns" battling Hitler's Luftwaffe.

Deployed in a de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, he was among those who nudged the wings of unmanned German V1 flying bombs, diverting them away from London.

Peter Middleton married Valerie Glassborow just after the war ended in 1946 and had four children, including Michael, Kate's father.

Valerie Glassborow passed away in 2006, aged 82, but Kate's grandfather lived to 91.

Advertisement