Queen Elizabeth Paid Tribute to Her Father in a Speech to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force

Read the full transcript here.

This morning, the royal family celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force with a series of events. They kicked off the day with a service at Westminster Abbey and then headed to Buckingham Palace for a flyover of historic planes. While there, the Queen gave a speech, which touchingly paid tribute to her father, King George VI.

Watch it here:

Then read the full transcript of her words, below:

Chief of the Air Staff, today is a very special day.

Presenting the Royal Air Force with a New Queen's Colour provides an opportunity to congratulate the Service for your remarkable contribution to Defence over the last hundred years.

Tenacity, skill and gallantry have been your hallmarks, as you have helped to safeguard freedom and security in many parts of the world. I remember the Battle of Britain being fought in the skies above us, and we shall never forget the courage and sacrifice of that time.


In 1918, my father, King George VI, served alongside one of the Service's founders, Lord Trenchard, before becoming the first of my family to qualify as a Royal Air Force pilot. That family tradition continues to this day: The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge have all earned their Wings, and wear them with great pride.

The Royal Air Force has won a place in the heart of our Nation, and I wish All Ranks, past and present, together with your families, every good fortune for your second century of service.

Per Ardua Ad Astra.

That line at the end is the official motto of the RAF. Roughly translated, it means "Through adversity to the stars" or "Through struggle to the stars."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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