Prince Andrew visited a missile manufacturing company yesterday (Monday).

The Duke of York arrived at MBDA in Stevenage at 11.30am to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary.

He was given a tour of the site in Six Hills Way and spoke to a number of employees and apprentices about their work.

This was followed by a short speech culminating in the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the event.

Speaking during his visit, the 54-year-old said: “The work that has gone on here in Stevenage for the last 60 years to give our servicemen the offensive capability that is so necessary in conflict is owed a huge debt of gratitude. The work that MBDA do is absolutely vital to the defence of this country.

“I regularly go and talk to servicemen and their families about the commitment that they have made to put themselves on the front line. There is, of course, the expectation that they might be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice but, thanks to your work, there is a much greater chance that sacrifice could be avoided. I thank you very much for all the work that you do.”

MBDA’s deputy managing director Keith Garden said: “We were very grateful to have the prince visit us here today. We wanted to do something special to celebrate our diamond anniversary and I think this was perfect. He demonstrated a great deal of knowledge that, I think it’s fair to say, kept everyone on their toes but also made for some very engaging conversations. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak to him and tell him a little bit about what we do here.”