The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton
The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, spent a sunny morning with new recruits at a Graduation Parade at Royal Air Force Halton on Wednesday.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, spent a sunny morning with new recruits at a Graduation Parade at Royal Air Force Halton on Wednesday.

The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

The Duchess, who is RAF Halton’s Honorary Air Commodore, also presented the new Queen’s Colour to the station. RAF Halton is one of only seven Air Force establishments to have been granted a Queen’s Colour.

The Queen’s Colour was awarded to the station for the first time in July 1952 though that moved to RAF Cosford when the No1 School of Technical Training moved there in 1993. Twenty years ago, the Queen approved a brand new Colour for RAF Halton which has been used at every major official station event since. Wednesday’s event saw the old Colour marched off and the new colour unfurled in a drumhead ceremony. The old Colour will now be ‘laid up’ in St Michael and All Angels Church in Halton Village.

The new Colour was borne by Flight Lieutenant Scott Ripley-Jones, who said: “Today is a day I will remember for the rest of my life with pride. To be chosen to bear the new Queen’s Colour is a personal honour for me.”

RAF Halton is the Gateway to the Royal Air Force and is the centre for initial recruit training for all airmen and airwomen joining the Air Force both Regular and Reserve. As well as presenting the station with its new Colour, The Duchess acted as the Reviewing Officer for the eighty-two Airmen and Airwomen from Douglas Intake who were graduating following an intense ten week long course.

The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

The Duchess of Cornwall visits recruits at RAF Halton

Families and friends of the recruits packed the grandstands which overlook the Henderson Parade Square and they burst into applause when a Tornado GR4 aircraft performed a special flypast, wings swept back and afterburners aglow. The ceremony and parade was accompanied by music from the Central Band of the RAF.

The Duchess presented a number of awards to the top recruits, taking time to chat with each in turn. In her address The Duchess congratulated those graduating and wished them the “Best of British luck” for their furture careers.

After the Parade had finished, The Duchess joined local schoolchildren from Halton Combined School and Wendover Junior School who were taking part in a Cool Aeronautics event at the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre.