Queen Elizabeth marks 100 years of Britain's RAF ahead of flypast

Geraldine Edwards
July 13, 2018

SIMON DAWSON via Getty Images The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Westminster Abbey on July 10.

The queen stood out in an RAF-blue coat and dress edged with turquoise, with a matching hat and a diamond star brooch on her shoulder.

Prince Charles sat up on the stage beside The Queen and Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Force, while Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry, Meghan, Prince Edward and Sophie all sat in the front row beside the stage. "It is a great honour for the Defence Helicopter Flying School and Central Flying School (Helicopter) Squadron to be part of this historic event to celebrate and commemorate 100 years of the RAF and inspiring future members of the RAF".

The flypast drew thousands of spectators, passing over the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the streets of Central London before reaching The Mall, the ceremonial avenue leading up to Buckingham Palace.

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The Duchess of Cambridge, wore a dress by her go-to designer Alexander McQueen for the occasion, looked overjoyed as she cradled Prince Louis and spoke to the Archbishop.

Missing was the queen's husband, Prince Philip, 97, who has retired from public life.

The couple will also attend a garden party at the British ambassador's residence, and attend official meetings with the Irish president, Michael Higgins, and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will not be on hand for the event.

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Standing in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace as she presented a new Queen's colour to the RAF, she spoke of the "remarkable contribution to defence" over the last 100 years.

They were followed by Prince William, who was holding Prince Louis' brother George with his left hand and sister Charlotte with his right.

The RAF, which is the first-ever independent air force, split from the British Army and Royal Navy in April 1918.

She later remembered the Battle of Britain, saying: "I remember the Battle of Britain being battled in the sky above us and we should never forget the sacrifice".

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For 100 years the RAF has defended the skies of Britain, preventing conflicts, delivering aid and combating cyber threats while working in partnership with other services.

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