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Messages of condolence, memories of The Late Queen and support for King Charles III

Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, members of the RAF Air Cadets community expressed their condolences, memories of The Late Queen and support for King Charles III.

We asked our volunteers to share their thoughts, including descriptions of meeting Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III, as well as the personal impact that they had. 

Here is a selection of the messages we received.

In 2016, as Lord Lieutenant's cadet I had the honour of accompanying Her Majesty The Queen for her 90th birthday celebrations in Windsor over two days. What struck me was her sense of grace and passion to engage with those present to share her celebrations. It was such a pleasure to share this experience and was one I will never forget.

Flight Sergeant Louise Martin, 25
381 (Reading) Squadron

On behalf of everyone within the 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron family, we offer our deepest respect and heartfelt condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family. We remember fondly the occasion that 121 Squadron had the privilege of forming the guard of honour during King Charles III visit to Nuneaton in 2020.

Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks, 64
121 (Nuneaton) Squadron

It has been my honour to have served Her Majesty during my time in the RAF, she has and always will be in the hearts of the nation, I will continue to serve His Majesty King Charles III to the best of my ability for as long as I live.

Warrant Officer Kenneth Duffy, 72
2200 (Oldham) Squadron

I have been heavily impacted by her passing, and can only imagine that the emotions I have been experiencing are dwarfed by the weight of the grief on those closest to her. I also offer the best of luck for King Charles III and Queen Consort, Camilla in their new roles, may yours be a long, happy and prosperous reign.

Flight Sergeant Alecia Jackson, 26
561 (Ardwyn, Aberystwyth & District) Squadron

Deepest, sincerest condolences from all staff and cadets at 795 (Harpenden) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets, your loss is felt by us all. The Queen, all my life has been a person that I have looked up to, her calmness at times of trouble has been inspiring. Her fulfilled, lifelong promise of service to our country has shown me what a fantastic person she was. I aspire to be the best person I can be, using the late Queen as an example.

Pilot Officer Lisa-Jane Bonfield, 42
795 (Harpenden) Squadron

It had been extremely wet and the grass in the enclosure we were tasked in had turned to mud so morale wasn't at its highest. A helicopter landed and parked nearby and we saw Her Majesty exit the aircraft. I quickly lined the cadets up and I saluted Her Majesty as she passed us and we received a nod and a smile in return. This chance meeting was an honour and has been the stand out memory of all my years in the Corps. Rest in peace Your Majesty, thank you for your service to us, you will be missed by all. Long live the King.

Flying Officer Lee Glattback, 51
2171 (West Plymouth) Squadron

Pilot Officer Venessa Njoki from 268 (Tottenham) Squadron (pictured) said she had been honoured to be in the presence of King Charles III at an event to mark his 70th birthday.

I was very privileged to have a surreal conversation about my RAFAC career, his kind words will stay with me forever. Queen Elizabeth II was an inspiration to many, across the globe, and her dedication to her duties and selfless service will be remembered as we mourn.

Pilot Officer Venessa Njoki, 21
268 (Tottenham) Squadron

Having spent a significant time at RAF Valley, I was fortunate to have met the then Prince of Wales on a number of occasions and Her Majesty The Queen just once. We, as a family, are great supporters of the Royal Family and cherish the links that they maintain throughout the whole RAF family from regular Service personnel, Reservists and the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Mark Byrne
Squadron Leader (Rtd) RAF, and Civilian Instructor at 2348 (Maghull) Squadron