Skip to content

The Platinum Jubilee marks 70 years since Her Majesty The Queen began her reign, becoming the first British Monarch to reach this remarkable milestone. The Royal Air Force will join the rest of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces to celebrate this special occasion.

The Queen maintains a close link with the RAF and the Special Relationship units that she has presented with Colours, in recognition of their Service, skill and achievements. Her reign has had a profound influence on the RAF, which will be felt today and in decades to come.

The Queen's colour

The Queen’s colour is a flag which is a reminder to all ranks of their loyalty and duty to their Sovereign and their country.

No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton

The Queen presents her Colour, to No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton on 25th July 1952

Let this Colour be a reminder to you of the trust that I place in the Royal Air Force. During your future service you will, I know strive to the utmost to be worthy of that trust and to maintain the unsullied standard of which this Colour is a symbol.
Her Majesty The Queen

RAF Runnymede War Memorial 

17th October 1953

The Queen unveils the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, commemorating 20,458 men and women from the Commonwealth Air Forces, who lost their lives during the Second World War and have no known grave.  This includes personnel from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, the Ferry Command, the Air Transit Auxiliary, the British Overseas Airways Corporation, and the Air Training Corps.

Church of the RAF

19th October 1958

The Queen attends St Clement Danes in London to reconsecrate it as the Church of the RAF after it launched an appeal in 1950 to rebuild the damage from air raids during World War Two.

The reconstruction is based on the original layout, with the RAF Crest and more than 700 Squadron and Unit badges embedded in the floor.

The Queen's Colour Squadron forms

The Queen’s Colour Squadron forms on 1st November 1960, carrying out ceremonial duties when escorting The Queen’s Colour, as well as Regimental duties as No 63 Field Squadron.

Aviation heritage

15th November 1972

The Queen officially opens the RAF Museum on the former site of RAF Hendon, North London. The Museum’s purpose is to share the story of the RAF, past, present and future – using the stories of its people and its collections in order to engage, inspire and encourage learning.

Visit the RAF Museum

World War Two Memorial

28th June 2012

The Queen unveils the Bomber Command Memorial, in Green Park, London. It commemorates more than 55,000 Bomber Command Aircrew who died during World War Two.

RAF 100

The Queen honours the RAF’s 100th anniversary since its formation in 1918. She presents a new Queen’s Colour to the RAF before an iconic flypast over Buckingham Palace on 10th July 2018.

I myself have had the closest ties with the Royal Air Force since its formation in 1918. I have watched with the keenest admiration how it has grown up from those early days to prove in every way worthy of its place alongside the older services."
Her Majesty The Queen

Our Future

Much has changed since The Queen became Sovereign in 1952, but seventy years later the RAF continues to deliver a committed service in her name. The nature of threats may have adapted with new technologies and challenges, such as climate change, but the RAF will continue to protect, inspire, and evolve. New technologies, techniques, and policies are being implemented to move forward, including diversifying the workforce, and aiming for a Net Zero Air Force by 2040.

Our history

For more stories during the reign of The Queen, view our timeline; starting from the first woman to be awarded the RAF Pilot Badge on 20 September 1952.

RAF History Timeline