Prince Charles

Prince Charles Attends Socially-Distanced RAF Graduation Ceremony

The Prince of Wales told the RAF cadets he was "immensely impressed" that they continued their training during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to RAF cadets who continued their training during the coronavirus pandemic during a visit to a socially-distanced graduation ceremony.

Prince Charles was the reviewing officer at Thursday's parade at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire, attended by cadets who have completed their initial officer training.

He inspected the ranks and presented course prizes to top-performing cadets, with no handshakes involved and winners collecting their awards from a table.

The prince said in his speech to around 150 cadets he was "immensely impressed" that they were able to continue and complete their training "given the complexities that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to every aspect of life.".

"I know that this will not have been easy and is a testament to the flexibility and determination, not only of the staff, but of every one of you.

"This same dedication, adaptability and willingness continually to push yourselves will be required time after time in your future careers," Prince Charles said.

Prince Charles at RAF Graduation ceremony 160720 CREDIT POOL pictures.jpg

Family and friends of the graduating cadets were unable to attend the ceremony due to social distancing restrictions.

After a parade and flypasts of a Typhoon and the Red Arrows, the Prince of Wales spoke to cadets gathered in circles at a socially-distanced outdoor reception.

He then planted a lime tree in recognition of the college's centenary.

Commandant of the Royal Air Force College, Air Commodore Suraya Marshall, said: "The graduates have endured the most challenging of training periods.

"This is a truly unique occasion, of which all participants can be justifiable proud."

Prince Charles is himself a graduate of RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, where he was awarded his Royal Air Force pilot's wings in 1971.

He last visited the station in 2008 for the Duke of Cambridge's graduation ceremony, when Prince William become the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot.

The Prince of Wales was appointed a Marshal of the Royal Air Force in 2012 - the highest rank in the service.

Socially distanced RAF graduation 160720 CREDIT POOL pictures.jpg