Royal Visit Marks Cadets 75th Anniversary
Published: 08 Jul 2016 updated: 09 Jul 2016
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a special visit today (Friday, July 8) to the Air Tattoo to mark the 75th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets.
The Duchess, who is Patron of the Air Cadet Organisation, was present as the airshow staged its official celebrations for the Air Cadets' 75th anniversary where they met just some of the 1,500-plus air cadets taking part in the airshow this weekend.
On arrival, the Duke and Duchess were presented to Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, Chairman RAFCT, General David Goldfein, Commander USAF and Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, before meeting 12 cadets, Air Cadet Commandant, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, and Air Cadet Ambassador, Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman.
With Prince George alongside them, the couple were then introduced to Red 1 and Red 10 from the RAF Red Arrows before the young prince sat in the cockpit of one of the aerobatic team's jets, and later the cockpit of a static RAF Squirrel helicopter.
Cadet Corporal Charlotte Lynham, 17, from 2532 (Milton Keynes) Squadron and Cadet Flight Sergeant Alexander Welsh, 18, from 335 (Saltash) Squadron were just two cadets who were lucky enough to meet the family and are spending two weeks at RAF Fairford helping with the airshow.
Cadet Lynham said: "I'm in a lot of shock and never thought I'd get to meet anyone from the Royal family. The Duchess asked me why I joined the cadets and I explained that I went to airshows all the time when I was little and as soon as I was old enough I joined. Anyone who is considering becoming a cadet should do it; it really is the best experience."
Cadet Welsh similarly spoke highly of the experience. He commented: "That was an unreal and surreal experience. I don't think it has really hit me yet."
Andy Armstrong, Chief Executive of RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, which runs the airshow, spoke of his delight that the Air Tattoo team were able to welcome the Royal couple to RAF Fairford.
"There's no doubt that the Royal couple's attendance today created an exciting atmosphere, particularly amongst our huge team of hard-working air cadets. Those who were lucky enough to meet the Duke and Duchess were thrilled.
"Their visit came as a very fitting acknowledgement of not only the hard work and efforts of all of the air cadets, but also those of the 2,000-plus team of Air Tattoo volunteers, who work so hard to make the show possible."
During his time in the Royal Air Force, HRH The Duke of Cambridge was a member of 22 Sqn, the RAF Search and Rescue Force based at RAF Valley in Anglesey. He left in 2013. He is currently Patron of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Honorary Air Commandant of Royal Air Force Coningsby.