Prince Philip officially opened the Brighton i360 this afternoon (Friday 28 October) and met the team who designed and created the seafront attraction.
The royal visitor took a trip up the i360 but also spent time inspecting the control room and operating winch.
British Airways i360 chairman David Marks said: “His Royal Highness is a fantastic champion of good design in arts and industry and has furthered this cause with energy and passion for more than 50 years.
“Knowing the Duke of Edinburgh’s love of engineering and innovation, we were absolutely delighted and honoured that he agreed to open British Airways i360 today, inspect the tower, its viewing pod and the technology that makes it work and to meet key members of the engineering team and representatives of the community that made this engineering tour de force a reality.
“Everyone who has been involved in the project is deeply honoured that the Duke of Edinburgh opened the British Airways i360 today and it has been a pleasure showcasing this new landmark to His Royal Highness.”
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 28, 2016
Among those present for the royal visit were the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex Peter Field, the High Sheriff of East Sussex Michael Foster, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove Councillor Pete West, the chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council Geoff Raw and the chairman of the West Pier Trust Glynn Jones.
Mr Raw said: “Today’s visit by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh was an historic moment for the city.
“The opening of the British Airways i360 by His Royal Highness recognises the national importance of this fascinating and popular engineering achievement here in Brighton and Hove.”
Prince Philip also met representatives of the British Airways i360 construction team, many of whom also worked with Marks Barfield Architects on the London Eye.
These included Hollandia, which built the steel tower, Poma, which created the glass pod, drive mechanism and ride control system, and the Sussex-based civil engineer contractor JT Mackley which was responsible for the ground work and the British Airways i360 beach building.
Mr Marks, who designed and created the i360 with his partner Julia Barfield at Marks Barfield Architects, added: “Built at the landward end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 is a modern day ‘vertical pier’ that gives a new perspective on the city.
“Its purpose is simply to delight, entertain and inspire. Its design, engineering and method of construction are innovative, just as the West Pier was in its time.
“And just as the original pier invited Victorian society to ‘walk on water’, so British Airways i360 invites visitors to ‘walk on air’.”