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Air Tattoo Welcomes HM The Queen

Published: 11 Jun 2021


Tomorrow (Saturday 12 June) marks Her Majesty The Queen's official birthday and on behalf of everyone involved in the Royal International Air Tattoo, we'd like to wish her many happy returns, whilst also remembering HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on what would have been his 100th Birthday yesterday.

The Queen's actual birthday is on April 21, but since 1959 her official birthday has been celebrated publicly on the second Saturday in June to coincide with Trooping the Colour. The idea of an 'official birthday' was first introduced in 1748 during the reign of King George II, to make sure the weather was better to stage outdoor celebrations.

The Air Tattoo has hosted visits by many Royal guests during its 50-year history including HRH Prince Charles, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son Prince George, HRH Princess Anne and, of course, our Patron HRH The Duke of Kent. However, it was the visit of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to the Air Tattoo in 2008, as part of celebrations marking the RAF's 90th anniversary, that provided our airshow with one of its proudest moments.

And, of course, it was HM The Queen who gave us her 'seal of approval' back in 1996 which resulted in our airshow being officially renamed the Royal International Air Tattoo.

So, we've delved into our archive for the latest Bigglesbox to relive one summer's day, in 2008, when HM The Queen paid a special visit to the Air Tattoo. After months of meticulous planning by all those involved, what could possibly go wrong! View the video HERE.

The Bigglesbox series of short videos were filmed pre-Covid as part of celebrations marking the Air Tattoo's 50th anniversary and feature Air Tattoo founder member Tim Prince, leading aviation expert and longstanding volunteer Peter March and the airshow's senior commentator Ben Dunnell share their memories of Air Tattoos gone by.

You can find out more about the history of the airshow in our Air Tattoo 50 book.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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