The Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation were greatly saddened to receive the news that Her Majesty The Queen, the Force’s Air Commodore-in-Chief, had died at Balmoral on 8th September 2022. Letters of condolence were sent to to her successor, His Majesty, King Charles III.
The Royal Auxiliary Air Force enjoyed close links with Her Majesty throughout her reign, and over 300 personnel with links to the Force were privileged to take part in the following events relating to her funeral on 19 September:
* Two Flights, each with 26 Force personnel, preceded the gun carriage carrying the coffin on its journey from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. The first Flight comprised members from 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron of which Her Majesty was the Honorary Air Commodore. The second Flight comprised personnel drawn from Force Squadrons at Royal Air Force Brize Norton.
* The Commandant General of the Force, Air Vice-Marshal Ranald Munro, and the Officer Commanding 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, Squadron Leader Derek Read, marched ahead of the the gun carriage carrying Her Majesty’s coffin on its journey from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch along with senior representatives of other formations which had enjoyed a special relationship with Her Majesty.
MOD Crown Copyright – Cpl Tom Cann RAF
* Wing Commander Andy Calame (former Equerry to Her Majesty and a Deputy Inspector of the Force) was one of the twelve pall-bearers who accompanied the gun carriage carrying the coffin on its journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. They also accompanied the hearse carrying the coffin on its journey from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.
MOD Media – PO Phot Dave Jenkins RN
* Air Marshal Sir David Walker (a former Master of the Royal Household and former Equerry to Her Majesty, the Honorary Air Commodore of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron and a member of 601 (County of London) Squadron) marched to the rear of the coffin on both journeys.
MOD Media – Sgt Robert Weideman RLC–
* Honorary Group Captain Ed Cadogan (a Scottish Archer and member of 601 (County of London) Squadron) participated in a vigil by the Archers (rear right) alongside Her Majesty’s coffin during its lying in state in Westminster Hall.
* Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West, a Lady Usher to Her Majesty and member of 601 (County of London) Squadron, assisted with Royal Duties at Westminster Hall during the Laying in State and led the Chivalry Procession at Westminster Abbey.
* Group Captain Bob Kemp, a Trustee and former Inspector of the Force. represented the Foundation at the funeral service in Westminster Abbey.
* Over 250 personnel drawn from Force units around the country provided behind-the-scenes support.