Queen praises RAF's 'tenacity and skill' at centenary event

EMMA MOUCHETRAF technician Cpl Lydia Ford checks over a Red Arrow

Up to 100 aircraft representing the RAF's history will fly over Buckingham Palace.

At just after 1pm, Puma and Chinook helicopters began the spectacle, followed by aircraft including a Lancaster, Spitfires, Hurricanes, the A400M Atlas, Tornados and the F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Ahead of the flyby, the monarch, whose father King George VI was a founding RAF member, made a speech in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Abbey for a service to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF), in central London, Britain July 10, 2018.

Watched by the Queen and senior members of the royal family from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the spectacle drew awe and applause from the crowd below.

It was 100 years ago on April 1, 1918, that the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF - the world's first independent air service.

Westminster Abbey will host a special service and more than a thousand servicemen and women will take part in a parade on The Mall.

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The first F35 B Lightning at RAF Marham.

The queen, dressed in a royal blue outfit with turquoise edging, later hosted a ceremony to present the RAF with a new Queen's Colour, at which she recognised the service's work.

The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be involved, as will Princes William and Harry and their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

Queen Elizabeth and senior members of her family were attending celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain's Royal Air Force on Tuesday, ahead of a flypast of nearly 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace in central London.

Squadron Leader Mike Child said the arrangement of the aircraft took "months of planning", with pilots also undertaking simulator training and multiple briefings.

It is the biggest formation of military aircraft in living memory.

"We have done nine ships - which are the diamond nine - which is a relatively basic formation, but it is actually making something that big".

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