Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited Bletchley Park, Britain’s WWII code-breaking facility, today to celebrate the end of a year-long restoration project.
According to The Telegraph, the Dutchess’s paternal grandmother, Valerie Glassborow, worked there during the war. She was able to meet people who worked with her grandmother and attempted to decode a message on the restored codebreaker.
The project took a year to complete, cost 8 million pounds, and would “see the transformation of the formerly derelict wartime Codebreaking building, Block C into a vibrant Vistor Centere opening for the enjoyment of visitors,” according to the Bletchley Parkwebsite.
Glassborow, according to The Telegraph, was “formerly employed by the ‘Government Code and Cypher School’ at Bletchley and worked in Hut 16, now restored as Hut 6 and open to the public.”
The Telegraph also reported that the work of these code breakers shortened the length of WWII by two years.
Those working for the Government Code and Cypher School broke the German Enigmacoding machine in 1940 “under Dilly Knox, with the mathematicians John Jeffreys, Peter Twinn and Alan Turing” where they “unraveled the German Army administrative key,” according to the Bletchley Park website.
According to BBC, until the 1970s the code breaking team had to remain silent and not talk about Bletchley Park, which is why the huts they worked in fell a part and needed a restoration.
The huts, the BBC reported, were made quickly out of wood in 1939. The Bletchley Park Trust, a registered charity, was set up 22 years ago to fund their restoration.
Because they did not have photos of the inside of the buildings, “Bletchley Park looked to its most valuable resource—the veterans” to figure out how to restore the huts accurately, BBC said.