The Queen during a visit to RAF Marham

The Queen has sent a message to the ​​​​​Royal Air Force to mark its 100th birthday.

In 1918 the RAF was formed through the merging of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.

"On this, the centenary of its formation, I send my heartfelt congratulations to the Royal Air Force at home and overseas, and to all of its families and loved ones.

The anniversary of the world’s first independent Air Force is of great significance, and it is fitting to pay tribute to the tenacity, skill and sacrifice of the men and women who have served within its ranks over the last century, and who have defended our freedom so gallantly.

Through its enduring focus on professionalism, excellence and innovation, the Royal Air Force stands as a shining example of inspiration around the World today and for the next generations.

May the glory and honour that all ranks have bestowed on the Royal Air Force light its pathway to the future, guarding our skies and reaching for the stars.

Per Ardua ad Astra.