Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 16:04 UK

In Pictures: Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day parade

The first Armed Forces Day has been marked by hundreds of events around the UK. The national celebration was held at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.

Gordon Brown at Armed Forces Day parade

While the prime minister was in Kent, the Queen was in Edinburgh presenting medals to members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The Queen on Armed Forces Day

The Queen sent messages of "deep and enduring gratitude" to Britain's past and present soldiers, sailors and airmen and women.

Army veteran Bruce Bishop, Lt Col Lesley Wilde and RSM Lee Swallow watching an air display

A Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane made an impressive appearance over the Kent skies.

Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah at the main Armed Forces Day parade

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was with his wife Sarah, announced that next year's event would be held in Cardiff.

Armed Forces Day parade

Some 30,000 spectators turned out at the national celebration, while about 200 other events were held in towns and cities around the UK.

Armed Forces Day parade

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said the day would be a "huge fillip" to troops.

Piper John Mackintosh looks on as the Armed Forces Day flag is raised at Edinburgh City Chambers ahead of the Armed Forces Day.

There was a week of celebrations in the run-up to the big day, with thousands of special flags flown by councils, businesses, schools and homes.

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