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Gift of a Signed RAF Badge to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell

On the occasion of the Graduation of the Sovereign’s Parade, Royal Air Force College Cranwell on 10 May 2018, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF, presented the College with a unique gift from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

the chief of air staff for the royal air force presenting an award

The gift, personally signed by The Monarch, is a painting of the ‘certified true copy’ of the RAF Badge which was authenticated in November 1954 by JH Barnes, Permanent Under Secretary of State.  The history of the development of the RAF Badge is intriguing with no less than 17 variations existing between the original design approved by HM King George V in 1922 and the current version presented today. The original agreement to adopt a ‘badge’ for the newly formed RAF was made by the Air Council at their meeting on 1 August 1918.  Original designs comprised of a garter and buckle but were not submitted to either HM The King or the College of Arms for approval. The first record of the RAF Badge is held by the College of Arms and dated 1923. In this version, the buckle had been replaced with a plain circlet.

The Royal Air Force College Cranwell is highly honoured and delighted to receive this formally endorsed badge by our Monarch which will be safeguarded on display in the College and inspire those who will go forward to write the second century of the RAF’s history.