In 1981, four days before the Royal Wedding of H.R.H. Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer on the 25th of July, his highness was programmed on the royal calendar longcast to visit the signal school at H.M.S. Mercury at Leydene, Hampshire, plus another event in Tidworth, Wiltshire, 43 miles NNW of Leydene to play polo for the Royal Navy against an Army team.

It was scheduled, with supporting published programmes, to be lone visit, unaccompanied,  and his base was to be at Broadlands the former home of the recently murdered Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten as the guest of Lord and Lady Romsey now owner of Broadlands, the eldest grandson of Lord Louis.

To coincide with the visits, a helicopter of the Queen's Flight and several suitable road vehicles were sent to Broadlands for the prince's use.

Staying temporarily with the H.M.S. Mercury printed programme, here is an opportunity for you to peruse the programme page by page by clicking on this URL http://www.godfreydykes.info/bits_and_pieces_volume_v.htm and then to read Section ONE, clicking on the individual page jpg's.   Remember not to get bogged down reading other parts of that web page and returning back to this page to view an entirely different approach to this 1981 visit.

However, post programme issue, the Royal plan had altered in a most spectacular way, to include a passenger in his self-piloted helicopter, namely his fiancė and soon to be wife, Lady Diana Spencer, later to be known as H.R.H. Princess Diana of Wales.

The following video in MP4 format touches briefly on both events of that day.  Some of what you see was filmed in my private house in Suffolk. It was unscripted, unrehearsed and spontaneous after a count of five by the producer, and was a one-take shot.

Click here for the video.

Note: If you are offered a YES or a NO to debug the video, click on NO.



Enjoy and remember the hey days of H.M.S. Mercury now of course long gone.