RAF Colours, HM the Queen presents new colours for RAF100, London (Crown Copyright, 2018)

Queen Presents New Colours to the RAF

The British Queen Presents New Colours for RAF100 Centenary at Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty the Queen presented new Colours to the RAF at Buckingham Palace on 10 July 2018 as part of the RAF100 centenary celebrations.

One hundred days after the RAF’s official 100th birthday on 1 April, the RAF marked its centenary in a day of national celebrations. The celebrations culminated in a sensational flypast of 100 aircraft, including 22 Typhoon jets in an iconic ‘100’ formation.

Over 1,000 RAF servicemen and women performed a ceremonial parade on The Mall in central London, along with almost 300 personnel lining the route, including people from a variety of roles and RAF stations, representing the full diversity of the current Air Force. Her Majesty the Queen honoured the RAF with the presentation of a new Queen’s Colour at a ceremony on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

At 1.00 pm members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public witnessed a flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace, representing the RAF’s history, its continued operational role in securing the UK’s skies, and the future of air power. The flypast featured the latest aircraft to enter service, the F-35B Lightning II, as well as 22 Typhoon jets in a ‘100’ formation and concluded with a display by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – the Red Arrows.

The old colours were laid-up during a special ceremony at Edinburgh Castle on 6 July 2018.

Laying-Up of the Queen’s Colour of the RAF Regiment

The Duke of Cambridge attended the Scottish National War Memorial Annual Service in Edinburgh today for the laying-up of the Queen’s Colour of the RAF Regiment at a special service to commemorate one hundred years since the formation of the first independent Air Force in 1918.


Laying-up of the Queen’s Colours of the RAF Regiment (Crown Copyright, 2018).

The Governor of the Castle Major General Mike Riddell-Webster CBE DSO welcomed The Duke to Edinburgh Castle as the Colour Party paraded outside the Memorial. Then, led by Lord Lyon King of Arms and his Pursuivants, the Royal Procession entered the War Memorial for the Service, led by the Chaplain in Chief of the RAF, The Venerable (Air Vice Marshal) Jonathan Chaffey CB QHC.

The officer carrying the Colour asked Major General (Retired) Mark Strudwick CBE KStJ if he would receive the Colour, to which he responded:

“We receive this Colour into the safe keeping of the Scottish National War Memorial, here to hang for all time as a reminder to those who pass by, our duty to God, to our Sovereign and to our country.”

The solemn Service continued with the Duke being requested to briefly touch the Colour before it was taken to the Shrine of the Memorial.  The Last Post was followed by a minutes silence after which the RAF Piper entered the Memorial playing “The Flowers of the Forest”.  The laying of wreaths was followed by a hymn and the National Anthem. This was followed by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Susan Brown who pronounced the Benediction after which the Royal Procession left the Memorial.

The War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle was designed and built in the 1920s and opened on 14 July 1927 by Edward, Prince of Wales. The first visitors were King George V and Queen Mary, who donated the Casket in which Rolls of Honour of Scots who fell in the Great War are deposited. Remembrance of personal sacrifice from 1914 to the present day is acknowledged by copies of the Rolls placed beside the Regimental and Service Memorials within the Hall of Honour. These volumes, on view to all visitors, contain over two hundred thousand entries across the conflicts of the past one hundred years.

The RAF Centenary Service was also attended by:  Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP the First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon David Mundell MP the Secretary of State for Scotland, Jonathan Chaffey CB QHC Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh, The Most Reverend Leo Cushley Bishop of Edinburgh, The Right Reverend Dr John Armes Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, Rear Admiral John Weale OBE RN Air Officer Scotland and Air Vice Marshal Ross Paterson CB OBE ADC DL.

Sources: MOD, RAF

Featured Image: Her Majesty the Queen presenting new Colours to the RAF at Buckingham Palace on 10/07/2018, by Sgt P.J. George, MA, ABIPP (Crown Copyright, 2018).