Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 18:27 UK

Prince to lead arboretum appeal

Prince William at the National Arboretum Memorial
Prince William visits the National Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas

Prince William has agreed to become a patron of an £8m appeal to aid the National Memorial Arboretum to become a world-renowned centre for remembrance.

He was formally invited to become patron of the Future Foundations Appeal during a visit to the site in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

The prince met the family of a soldier killed in Iraq at the site as well as other soldiers and former colleagues.

He also toured the world headquarters of digger-maker JCB in Rocester.

As patron of the arboretum's Future Foundations Appeal, the prince will help to raise the millions of pounds needed to expand the site.

The funds would be used to pay for a new education facility, veterans' pavilion and a central space for major memorial services.

The prince said it was an immense honour to be patron of the appeal.

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