RCAF makes history in London

Two men wearing military uniforms each carry a large flag.
On July 11, 2018, at Buckingham Palace, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force Public Duties contingent carries the RCAF’s Queen's Colour (left) and a member of the Royal Air Force carries the RAF’s Queen’s Colour. The RAF received their Colour the day before from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations. PHOTO: Corporal François Charest, DND

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From RCAF public affairs

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) Public Duties contingent wrapped up its guard responsibilities in the United Kingdom yesterday.

During the last few whirlwind days, the contingent not only carried out their duties in the shadow of history, they made history too.

On July 9, 2018, the RCAF contingent, known as the Queen’s Guard while carrying out its duties, mounted the guard at Windsor Castle. That location might be familiar to you if you were watching TV or internet feeds last month; it’s where Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle were married on May 19, 2018.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Windsor and packed the inside of the castle to witness the historic moment.

Then, back in London, history continued to be made on July 11 as the RCAF took over responsibility for mounting the guard at Buckingham Palace from the Royal Air Force (RAF). As this summer’s events are the first time in the RCAF’s 94-year-history that its members had performed public duties for Her Majesty, the meeting on the parade square and the changing of the guard between the RAF and the RCAF was unprecedented.

The RCAF Queen’s Guard took over from the RAF on the heels of RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations on July 10, which saw a wonderfully executed parade and flypast near Buckingham Palace.

It was the last mount for members of the RCAF Public Duties contingent, who began their ceremonial responsibilities in London on June 25. While in the U.K., the team carried out guard duties at St. James’s Palace and the Tower of London as well and participated in a Freedom of Entry of the Town ceremony in Folkestone. The RCAF Band also participated in the RAF’s anniversary celebrations.


Royal Canadian Air Force: Public Duties

RCAF guards Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in United Kingdom

Image gallery

  • Two men wearing military uniforms each carry a large flag.
  • A man holding a rifle, wearing a military uniform in the foreground, with a large group of military personnel in the background.
  • Military people, carrying rifles, march in lines.
  • Military personnel, carrying rifles, march as a group.
  • A group people wearing military uniforms walk casually.
  • A military band marches down a city street.
  • A group of military people march in front of a crowd, with a large gothic-style building in the background
  • Three people holding rifles stand on a graveled surface inside the courtyard of an immense gothic structure.
  • People wearing military uniforms and holding rifles stand “at ease” in three lines.
  • Military personnel with rifles.
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