Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 11:39 UK

Queen to attend historic ceremony

The Queen's Colour, RAF during the  Queen's 1977 Silver Jubilee
The ceremony will include a mass flypast of aircraft

The new Queen's Colours will be presented to both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force Regiment at a ceremony in Gloucestershire.

Around 5,000 guests have been invited to the private event at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford on Friday 11 July.

The ceremony will begin with a Royal Salute and a flypast by four Typhoons from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The event is only staged once in every 15 years.

The Queen's Colour was last presented to the Royal Air Force in the UK at RAF Marnham, Norfolk in 1993.

Historical importance

This event will be the largest staged since the Queen conducted a Silver Jubilee review of the RAF at RAF Finningley in south Yorkshire in 1977.

The Colours will be escorted by the Queen's Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment) along with other Royal Air Force Regiment squadrons and 34 Squadron RAF Regiment.

They will be supported by two further squadrons made up of RAF personnel from around the UK. The ceremony will include a parade of almost all of the RAF squadron standards.

Group Captain Tony Barmby, the RAF project officer for the Queen's Colours presentation event, said: "For most RAF personnel, involvement in such a parade is a once-in-a-career experience.

"It would be easy to let the ceremonial aspects of the day eclipse the direct and hugely important link to current operations. As the historical rallying point in battle, the Queen's Colours represent that link.

"I'm very proud to have the chance to play a part," said Group Captain Barmby.

Before The Queen departs, she will be treated to a mass flypast of aircraft representing the Royal Air Force's past and present.


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