Royal flypast celebrates RAF centenary
The Queen has praised the Royal Air Force for its "tenacity, skill and gallantry" as she was joined by senior members of the royal family at the centrepiece of events marking the force's 100th year.
Standing in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace as she presented the Queen's Colour to the RAF, she spoke of its "remarkable contribution to defence".
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More than 100 RAF aircraft roared and thundered across the skies of London in the biggest display of military planes in recent memory. In their biggest ever formation, 22 Typhoon jets spelt out the number '100' in the sky, to the delight of the royals gathered on the palace balcony and the thousands of spectators along The Mall.
The Queen spoke proudly not only as the RAF's Air Commodore-in-Chief, but also as a citizen who remembered the Battle of Britain, and as a daughter whose father King George VI served with the RAF. She said: "Presenting the Royal Air Force with a new Queen's Colour provides an opportunity to congratulate the service for your remarkable contribution to defence over the last 100 years."
A display by the Red Arrows brought the airshow to a close, streaming red, white and blue smoke down the length of The Mall.
Earlier yesterday the Queen and other dignitaries were among 2,200 people who attended a special service for the RAF in Westminster Abbey.