The Duke of Kent, as Honorary Air Chief Marshal, has helped the Royal Air Force Regiment celebrate a milestone anniversary.
The Duke watched as the RAF Regiment completed the Changing of the Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace as February got under way.
The Queen’s Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment were on parade to celebrate the regiment’s 80th anniversary. The Queen’s Colour Squadron was joined by ten other Regular and Reserve members who carried the squadron’s standard.
The RAF regularly take part in ceremonial duties at all of the London Palaces, but this was a special occasion, as the RAF provided both the mounting and dismounting Guards.
The RAF Regiment is a separate specialist regiment within the RAF. It was established in 1942 by Royal Warrant, and according to the RAF “was born of the recognition of the necessity for an indigenous and credible RAF ground defence force.” The regiment took part in all Second World War major campaigns, serving as infantry, air defence artillerymen, and armoured car crewmen.
The Duke of Kent has served as Honorary Air Chief Marshal of the RAF since 1 July 1996. He has been involved with the military in many different ways for all of his adult life.
Prince Edward served in the British military from 1955 to 1976 when he retired. He served in the Royal Scots Grey Regiment for his entire career and reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
His Royal Highness is also the President of the Commonwealth War Graves Association, and President of the Imperial War Museum.
The current Duke of Kent’s father, the first Duke of Kent, Prince George, served in the RAF himself. He earned his pilot’s licence in 1929, and was the first member of the Royal Family to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. He served in the RAF during the Second World War, and died in August 1942 in a non-operational plane crash.