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The Coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen Consort

His Majesty King Charles III has had a long relationship with the UK Armed Forces spanning decades. First as the Prince of Wales and now as the British Monarch, he has held a special connection with the Royal Air Force and we are honoured to celebrate and be a significant part of the Coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen Consort.

His Majesty's life in the RAF

His Majesty the King took flying lessons with the RAF in a Chipmunk aircraft during his second year of university. In 1971 he successfully completed flying training in the Jet Provost aircraft at RAF Cranwell.

During his RAF training he became the first heir to the throne to conduct a parachute jump. He went on to complete a further seven jumps during his two weeks of training with No.1 Parachute Training School at RAF Brize Norton. 

Prince Charles' unequivocal good humour and courtesy earned the unequivocal respect of a large cross-section of the Royal Air Force.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns, Chief of the Air Staff 1997 - 2000

His Majesty the King has held several honorary RAF appointments, including Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Brawdy and RAF Valley. Her Majesty Queen Camilla is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Halton and RAF Leeming.

The RAF’s role in the Coronation

There will be 894 RAF aviators taking part in the ceremony for the Coronation on 6 May 2023.

RAF aviators will be on Parade, with hundreds more supporting behind the scenes, including drill instructors, medics, police, drivers, transport managers, armoury staff, chefs, and caterers.

RAF Musicians join the celebration

140 RAF musicians are playing a key role in the Coronation celebrations.

14 RAF Musicians will perform fanfares specially composed for the Coronation Service. The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment will provide musical support to the RAF street lining contingent.

An 80 piece Band made up of personnel from The Central Band of the RAF, the Band of the RAF Regiment, the Band of the RAF College and the Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, will march during the procession.

AS1 Poppy Ewence holding her clarinet.

It will be the greatest honour to perform as part of the Coronation celebrations. It’s events like this that initiated my interest in joining the RAF. His Majesty The King is our new boss and to play a part in supporting his Accession and Coronation is a special moment, both professionally and personally.


A new King's Colour

The Royal Air Force Queen's Colour Squadron became the King's Colour Squadron by royal decree from 27 October 2022.

A new King’s Colour for the Royal Air Force was produced and consecrated at Buckingham Palace on 27 April 2023. 

Colours were used as rallying points on the battlefield, helping troops locate each other and avoid becoming disoriented. The King’s Colour for the Royal Air Force was approved by King George VI in 1947. The Colour is of RAF light blue silk, with light blue and silver tassels and fringe.

A flypast fit for a King

The Coronation flypast will feature aircraft from across the UK Armed Forces. From the RAF there will be several models of helicopter, Spitfires, a Lancaster, Hurricanes, 18 Typhoon FGR4s, an Envoy IV and many more from our fleet, covering the past, present and future of the RAF. 

It will feature the first flypast involvement of the RAF’s new Envoy IV CC1 aircraft which will lead the 9 Hawks from the Red Arrows, the RAF’s Aerobatics Team, to conclude the flypast.

Sqn Leader Karim Zid stood in front of a Puma helicopter.

I was awarded my Pilot Wings from the then Prince Charles and Camilla at my graduation ceremony in 2009 after I completed my Helicopter Training. This was the same course graduation that Prince William received his wings and I am proud to have served with him. It is fitting that I am now able to fly the Puma for His Majesty the King’s Coronation.


894Planning to take part
in the parade on the 6th May.
68From the RAF, British Army, and Royal Navy
taking part in the flypast.
7Being paraded on 6th May.



King Charles III is now the Commander-in-Chief of the UK Armed Forces, but he started his military career earning his pilot wings in the Royal Air Force. InsideAIR meets two of his flying instructors and goes for a flight in The Royal Chipmunk WP903, the aircraft in which the young Prince Charles learnt to fly.