Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

RAF's centenary to be marked by flypast over Palace

Queen Elizabeth and senior members of her family were attending celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain's Royal Air Force on Tuesday, ahead of a flypast of nearly 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace in central London.

It was then carrying on over the M25, Stapleford Abbotts, Hainault Forest and on to central London - passing the Olympic Park, Hackney, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch before getting to Buckingham Palace and The Mall at around 1pm.

A trio of F-35B Lightning II aircraft of 617 Squadron taking part in the RAF100 flypast over London to mark the centenary of the RAF.

It was on April 1, 1918 that the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF - the world's first independent air service.

Weather and serviceability dependent, the line-up was expected to include the new cutting-edge stealth fighter F-35 jets as well as helicopters including the Puma, Chinook, Juno and Jupiter.

Drawing the spectacle to a close were the Red Arrows, who in traditional aerobatic style, streamed red, white and blue smoke down the length of the Mall.

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Earlier the royals attended a service at Westminster Abbey along with dignitaries including Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson.

Beginning a day of events, members of the royal family attended a service at Westminster Abbey.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed the congregation and said the RAF has in its first 100 years been a decisive factor in serving the country, as well as being key in protecting democracy and freedom.

Heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, his son Prince William and wife Kate, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, all joined the queen on the palace balcony for the display.

This will take place on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace to mark the RAF's centenary.

It is the biggest formation of military aircraft in living memory.

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