Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited RAF Halton in Aylesbury yesterday, to present colours to new Air Force recruits and see the graduation parade.
Historically, military regiments are presented with The Queen’s colours, which is usually a Union Flag and is symbolic of the regiment’s allegiance to the Crown, and a regimental flag which has the regimental colours and battle honours on it.
Camilla gave a speech which highlighted the important role that the RAF plays in modern British society. She said that the Air Force plays a ‘vital role in protecting our nation’ and praised their work ‘during these troubled times’. She also met children from John Hampden Primary School and the Halton Combined Infant School who were visiting the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre next to the RAF base.
The Duchess is an honorary Air Commodore at the RAF base.
The Royal praised the people of Manchester for their bravery, and declared the nation’s solidarity with the people affected by the Monday terrorist attack. The Duchess paid homage to the work that RAF personnel are doing alongside the other two armed forces taking part in Operation Temperer across the country, whereby the military augments the police.
“Although today is intended to be a day of celebration,” the Duchess said, “I know that each one of us feels the unmitigated tragedy of the horrific event in Manchester. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this truly dreadful time.”
She then toured the base, learning more about their capabilities and functions, also being updated on recent work.
Camilla joined some of the military children who were simulating flying a Second World War spitfire plane, and took part in a model airplane competition to see who could fly theirs the furthest. “I’m not even sure where mine has gone!” Camilla admitted, when her plane veered slightly off course.