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Princess Anne opens new grandstand at Cheltenham

Thousands have turned out at The Open today, Princess Anne was one of them. Credit: ITV News West Country

On the first day of The Open meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, Princess Anne has opened its new, 5 and a half storey grandstand.

The Princess Royal Grandstand is the final part of a £45 million redevelopment of the course spanning 19 months.

Princess Royal Grandstand is the final part of a £45 million redevelopment of the course. Credit: ITV News West Country
£45m
cost of redevelopment
30m
height of the Grandstand from it's lowest level
19
months taken to complete
storey grandstand
70,000
people expected at Prestbury Park over the weekend

Today is the start of one of Cheltenham Racecourse's most popular meets, The Open, Countryside Day. - with thousands expected to flock to the event.

The new grandstand bears the name of Her Highness, The Princess Royal, who said that she was "really touched that you should have asked me to lend my name to this stand."

The new multi-million pound grandstand bears the name of Her Highness, The Princess Royal. Credit: ITV News West Country

Around 70,000 people are expected to go through the gates at Prestbury Park over the three days.

Robert Waley-Cohen, Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse had the honour of introducing Princess Anne just before she opened the new Cheltenham grandstand named in her honour.

"We feel a huge amount of pride that this magnificent development has been completed on time and budget despite the inconvenient interruptions caused by our racing throughout."

– Robert Waley-Cohen, Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse

The new opening has been honoured not just with the Her Highness' name, but a giant cake has also been constructed to represent the new grandstand:

One lady has made a huge cake to represent the new grandstand. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Princess is one of two Royals visiting the West Country today, as The Duke of Edinburgh is in Plymouth visiting marines this afternoon.