Bristol to Commemorate 80 years of Atlantic Charter


Affirming our historic friendship with the USA and celebrating modern, global, and forward-thinking Britain

Bristol is to host celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter.

The event over the weekend of July 16 to 18 will see Royal Navy ships visit the historic harbour, the Band of the Royal Marines perform and a celebration dinner attended by US officials and the First Sea Lord.

Bristol is hosting the event because of its affiliation with HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Britain’s newest fifth generation aircraft carrier. HMS PRINCE OF WALES is the namesake of the WW2 battleship on which the Charter was originally declared. On Saturday 17, the ship’s White Ensign will be ‘laid up’ in Bristol Cathedral in a special service which means that the ensign will fly in the Cathedral.

HMS BLYTH, a minehunter, will visit Bristol’s Historic Harbour with one or two P2000 Navy vessels with school parties and members of the public being able to go on board.

The weekend marks the 80th anniversary of an event in 1941 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met aboard HMS PRINCE OF WALES off the coast of Newfoundland. The Charter was the shared vision of the two world leaders for a post WWII world. It committed to a world “free of want and fear” where “global economic co-operation and advancement of social welfare” would build a foundation for peace and security.

This commemoration, organised by the Bristol HMS PRINCE OF WALES Affiliation, is an opportunity to honour future and past commitments, and Naval crew as well as acclaim the status of our Royal Navy as a force for the 21st century.

Mrs .Peaches Golding OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, who represents the Queen in the city, said:

“Bristol is a maritime city, which has always had strong links with the USA from the time of Cabot, through Brunel and the SS Great Britain.

“This weekend in July is usually when Bristol people gather for the Bristol Harbour Festival, which sadly will not happen this year. However, the Atlantic Charter Celebrations is a great opportunity for the people of Bristol to celebrate the events which shaped our world today, with NATO among the consequences of that historic meeting.

“With both US and Royal Navy personnel visiting the city it is a great showcase for Bristol.”

Stephen Parsons DL, Chair of the HMS PRINCE OF WALES Affiliation Board, said:

“HMS PRINCE OF WALES is too large to come into Bristol but the Royal Navy is arranging for these other ships to be in the Harbour for the celebration and people will be able to go on board and see how our modern Navy functions.

“On Saturday 17th, the First Sea Lord will host a reception on the P2000 for longstanding Cadet volunteers and Cd.r Shaun Riordan and other officers from HMS PRINCE OF WALES will also be present. Sunday 18th will feature an additional reception on SS Great Britain where the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States, Ms. Yael Lempert, will be the keynote speaker.

The people of Bristol will be welcome to witness The White Ensign being marched to Bristol Cathedral with full military honours, where it will be hung until its fibres fall apart.”

Full details of the event will be announced nearer the date and information can be found at: