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RAF aviators celebrate the reign of Her Majesty The Queen

Royal Air Force aviators have celebrated the remarkable life and reign of Her Majesty The Queen over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, alongside personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army, and Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth.

On Thursday 2nd June, the Royal Air Force participated in a special tri-Service flypast over The Mall and Buckingham Palace, watched by the Royal Family from the Palace balcony. Over 70 aircraft of 20 different aircraft types, from the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force, took part in the spectacular flypast.

The penultimate element of this flypast was a unique display of Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth, flying over London in a special ‘70’ formation to mark the landmark occasion. The flypast concluded with the iconic Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team - The Red Arrows, trailing red, white, and blue smoke.

Before the flypast, more than 1,400 soldiers and 250 horses from the British Army’s Household Division took part in the traditional Trooping of the Colour ceremony in front of 7,500 spectators on Horse Guards Parade, and another 7,000 at the Queen Victoria Memorial in London.

On Friday 3rd June aviators supported the Platinum Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral by acting as step-liners, while British Army Foot Guards provided a Guard of Honour, and the Household Cavalry formed as path-liners. Inside, the Fanfare Trumpeters of the RAF Central Band performed under the direction of Wing Commander Piers Morell, and on Saturday 4 June, they performed the National Anthem at the Platinum Party at the Palace, in front of 22,000 people who had filled The Mall.

Finally, on Sunday 5th June, Royal Air Force aviators participated in the final event of the four-day official celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, by taking part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London. The Pageant celebrated heritage, culture, and the arts from across the Commonwealth for the last 70 years. It featured over 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth, including 1,800 regular and reserve soldiers, sailors, marines, and aviators, as well as musicians from Armed Forces bands.

Over 300 aviators from across the UK and overseas territories took part in the Pageant, forming marching detachments including representatives from the RAF Regiment and RAF Marham, with which Her Majesty The Queen enjoys a close relationship. Music for the RAF marching detachments was provided by 112 musicians from The Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force.

Armed Forces personnel have taken part in all four days of the Platinum Jubilee events, supporting in both ceremonial and musical roles, to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s life and 70 years’ service to her people.

Full order of the flypast:

  • 1 x Wildcat (Royal Navy), 2 x Merlin (Royal Navy)

  • 1 x Wildcat (British Army), 3 x Apache (British Army)

  • 1 x Wildcat (Royal Marines, Royal Navy), 3 x Merlin (Royal Navy)

  • 3 x Puma

  • 3 x Chinook

  • 1 x Lancaster, 2 x Spitfire, 2 Hurricane (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)

  • 1 x Phenom, 4 x Texan

  • 3 x Hercules (C-130J)

  • 1 x Atlas (A400M)

  • 1 x Globemaster (C-17)

  • 1 x Poseidon MRA1

  • 1 x Rivet Joint

  • 1 x Voyager, 2 x Lightning (F-35B), 2 x Typhoon

  • 1 x Voyager, 4 x Lightning (F-35B)

  • 4 x Hawk T2

  • 15 x Typhoon

  • 9 x Hawk T1 (Red Arrows)



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