Prince Charles backs Westminster Abbey view campaign

View from gallery Sir John Betjeman paid tribute to the view

The Prince of Wales is backing a campaign to open a balcony in Westminster to the public, once described as the "best view in Europe".

Prince Charles has become patron of the campaign to raise the £12m needed to give the public access the triforium in Westminster Abbey.

The 70ft upper gallery was called the best view in Europe by poet Sir John Betjeman.

At the moment, the gallery is reached by hard-to-negotiate stone steps.

The space is currently used for storage.

However, abbey officials said they hoped to install a disabled access lift and use the gallery as a museum.

Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: "The Dean and chapter is honoured that His Royal Highness has agreed to become patron of the Abbey's Appeal.

"This is a very significant endorsement of the importance of the triforium project, which will improve in a genuinely transformational way the quality of access visitors have to the abbey, and the quality of their understanding of this precious church.

"We are immensely grateful to the Prince of Wales for his personal commitment to the realisation of our development plans."

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