Press Release

GCHQ Bude hosts first Royal visit

Last Updated: 04 Apr 2016
The Princess Royal made history today as the first Royal to visit GCHQ Bude. Her Royal Highness met a large number of staff who are an integral part of GCHQ's mission to keep Britain safe.

Press release - 04 Apr 2016

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has made the first Royal visit to GCHQ Bude.

Her Royal Highness met a large number of staff including apprentices, graduates and long serving staff, one of whom has been part of GCHQ for 29 years.  They all play a significant part in GCHQ’s mission to keep Britain safe.  

Tracy, the newest recruit to the station, presented a basket of local produce, which included Cornish handmade chocolates, biscuits, and coffee from Bude’s own roastery.  Tracy said: "I was privileged to be asked to present the gift to The Princess Royal.  This was a very memorable moment in my career".

The Head of GCHQ Bude Station hosted Her Royal Highness alongside the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho, and after meeting staff took the group on a short tour of the site and then gave an overview of the vital work carried out at Bude.  The site forms a critical function in GCHQ’s wider intelligence and security mission and is one of the largest employers locally.  

The Head of Bude Station said: "GCHQ has a long association with Cornwall and has been a local employer for almost 50 years.  I am honoured The Princess Royal visited and learnt about the vital work the staff do."

As well as keeping Britain safe, GCHQ Bude is a major contributor to many local charities through their own Charities Committee.  Since the Committee’s formation in 2010 they have raised over £33,000.  Her Royal Highness was told about the various charity events including cake sales, sponsored walks, and sponsored cycle rides that provide charities such as the North Devon Hospice's The Long House Appeal, Bodmin Moorland Pony Rescue, and Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, with much needed help.  

The Director General for Intelligence who was representing the Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, thanked HRH Princess Royal for visiting and welcomed the opportunity for the people of GCHQ Bude to be recognised for their key role in helping keep Britain safe.

Notes for Editors

About GCHQ

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is one of the three UK Intelligence and Security Agencies, along with MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). GCHQ works to protect the UK and its citizens from a range of threats to national security, including from terrorism, serious and organised crime and cyber-attack. It also works to protect UK forces wherever they are deployed and, through its Information Security arm CESG, provides policy and assistance on the security of Government communications and electronic data.

GCHQ Bude short history

In the light of developing trends in telecommunications, GCHQ selected the site at Cleave Common, Bude in 1966, only their second site since World War II.  Due to the scale of the development and its technological complexity, that station did not become operational until 1974.

Among the Dignitaries were:
High Sheriff and Consort, Mrs Jane Hartley and Mr Robert Hartley
Chairman, Cornwall Council, Councillor Ann Kerridge
Chairman Morwenstow Parish Council, Councillor Lee Hobbs
Consort Clerk to Morwenstow parish Council, Ms Susan Joyner
Member of Parliament for North Cornwall, Mr Scott Mann MP
Devon and Cornwall Police, Chief Inspector Sara Crane.


HRH Princess Anne arrives at GCHQ Bude by helicopter


HRH Princess Anne signs GCHQ Bude's visitors book