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Montevideo, September 26th 2018 - 13:28 UTC

RAF centenary celebration fly-past gathers thousands in London

Wednesday, July 11th 2018 - 07:22 UTC
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According to the London Met Police, an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 people gathered on The Mall to watch the parade and fly-past According to the London Met Police, an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 people gathered on The Mall to watch the parade and fly-past
The Queen presented a new Queen's Color to the RAF in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace before moving to the balcony with the royal family The Queen presented a new Queen's Color to the RAF in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace before moving to the balcony with the royal family
The Queen congratulated the RAF for a “remarkable contribution to defense” over the last 100 years, saying “tenacity, skill and gallantry” had been its hallmarks. The Queen congratulated the RAF for a “remarkable contribution to defense” over the last 100 years, saying “tenacity, skill and gallantry” had been its hallmarks.
The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF on 1 April 1918 - the world's first independent air force. The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF on 1 April 1918 - the world's first independent air force.

Thousands of people have gathered outside Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force. Almost 100 planes representing the RAF over the years flew over The Mall following a parade by personnel.

 The Queen and other members of the Royal Family saw the display - which included the new F-35 fighter and Spitfires - from the palace balcony.

Earlier they marked the centenary at a special service in Westminster Abbey. The service began what the head of the RAF said would be a “tremendous” day of events to mark its 100 years.

Three F-35 Lightning stealth fighters were involved in the flypast and 22 Typhoons spelt out 100 as they flew over the palace. Nine helicopters led the armada, while the Red Arrows brought up the rear.

The aircraft assembled in holding patterns off the coast of East Anglia before merging near Ipswich and flying down the A12 corridor to London.

According to the London Met Police, an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 people gathered on The Mall to watch the parade and fly-past, with roads in central London being closed until 17:00 BST.

Surrounded by other members of the Royal Family, the Queen presented a new Queen's Color to the RAF in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace before moving to the balcony.

In a brief speech, she congratulated the RAF for a “remarkable contribution to defense” over the last 100 years, saying “tenacity, skill and gallantry” had been its hallmarks. She added: “I remember the Battle of Britain being fought over the skies above us and we shall never forget the courage and sacrifice of that time.”

The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF on 1 April 1918 - the world's first independent air force.

In his address at Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said the RAF had played a “decisive factor in saving this country's independence, its democracy and its freedom; its hope of civilization and its contribution to humanity for the future”.

He added: “It is also right to remember with sorrow and again profound thanksgiving the scores of thousands who have given their lives in service as part of the RAF.”

The Queen, who did not attend Prince Louis' christening on Monday was at the service along with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Retired and serving members of the RAF were also there, along with the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, and politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Princes William wore the No 1 uniform of the Royal Air Force, and his RAF wings, in recognition that he is a qualified RAF pilot. The Duke of Sussex's uniform carried RAF Regiment shoulder flashes in recognition of the home of the RAF, Honington, and his role as Honorary Air Commandant of the base.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • Islander1

    Sad PT- over 50,000 RAF gave their lives in defence of their homeland in a brutal total war they did not start - WW2 . Yet again they fought and risked their lives in 1982 in defence of
    other British people in yet another war started by someone else. They were founded in 1918 in another world war - which Britain did not start.
    As the queen said - 4 Generation of her family have served their Country with their “wings”-her father-her husband- 2 of her sons and 2 grandchildren. Not bad.

    Jul 11th, 2018 - 11:02 am +2
  • DemonTree

    Don't be such a misery Pytangua, it's a celebration of history and we should be proud of the RAF, they prevented Nazi Germany invading Britain among other things.

    Jul 11th, 2018 - 11:07 am +1
  • darragh

    Pytangua

    Even though I'm not British I recognise the sacrifices that the RAF (amongst the rest of the British armed forces, not to mention civilians) have made to protect the freedoms of not only the UK and Commonwealth but the rest of the world.

    Without them I don't doubt that my own country would be a German 'protectorate'.

    If you can't accept that and are just reduced to making snidey comments then that says all that needs to be said about you and your ilk.

    Jul 11th, 2018 - 11:08 am +1
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