The First Handley Page Memorial Lecture, organised jointly by the Cranfield Society and the Royal Aeronautical Society, was given by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., at the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield, on 21st May 1963 before an audience of some 1500. The Chair was taken by Sir Harold Roxbee Cox, Ph.D., D.I.C., D.Sc, B.Sc.(Eng.), F.R.Ae.S., F.A.I.A.A, M.I.Mech.E., Chairman of the Board of Governors of the College of Aeronautics, and a Past President of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Sir Harold Roxbee Cox said that the late Sir Frederick Handley Page was one of the greatest figures in British aviation. His was the unique achievement of creating his company in 1909 and leading it for over half a century until he died in 1962. Although always in touch with every phase of his company's work, he found time to serve the country in many other ways. They particularly remembered two of them that day. He was a Past President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and he was Chairman of the Governing Body of the College of Aeronautics. Both the Society, and the Cranfield Society of old students of the College, wished to honour his memory by the creation of the Handley Page Memorial Lecture, and they decided to do so in partnership. In the hope of starting the series with the maximum distinction they asked His Royal Highness if he would give the first Memorial Lecture. It was difficult adequately to express thanks to him for agreeing to do so, and it was with the feeling that they were all honoured to be present on this great occasion that he asked His Royal Highness now to deliver the first Handley Page Memorial Lecture.