Queen Elizabeth Just Unveiled a New Portrait in Honor of the Royal Air Force's 100th Anniversary
Queen Elizabeth was born just eight years after the Royal Air Force was founded in 1918 in response to the demands of WWI. Now at the age of 92, she's helping the organization celebrate its 100th anniversary.
This morning, the Queen visited the Royal Air Force Club—an exclusive space for members of the Force which was also formed in 1918—to celebrate its centennial. Her visit commemorated the official opening of a new wing of the Piccadilly property. Queen Elizabeth toured the new spaces, but more artful surprises were to follow.
The Queen unveils the club's new stained-glass window
The British monarch also helped to debut a new stained-glass window in the Club, which celebrates the contributions of women in the Royal Air Force. Women have served since the RAF's founding year, but until 1994, they were relegated to a separate women's branch. Women's ability to join the aircrew, as opposed to just ground trades, has also evolved over time. The window aims to highlight how women's roles have developed.
Queen Elizabeth was able to meet some of the trailblazing women personally this morning. The country's first woman fast jet pilot, Jo Salter, was among the representatives from the RAF.
The Queen unveils a new portrait that was commissioned to celebrate 100 years of @TheRAFClub. Started in February 2018 and set in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle, the portrait was painted by Benjamin Sullivan – who won the BP Portrait Award in 2017. pic.twitter.com/4ZkETFJrPD— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 17, 2018
The event was capped off with yet another unveiling—this time of a new portrait of the
The Queen examines her new portrait
The royal family has a history of involvement with the Royal Air Force Club. When it first opened its doors in 1922, King George V and Queen Mary visited. As the family's official Twitter feed pointed out, Queen Elizabeth was "following in the footsteps of her grandfather" by signing the Club's visitor book as he had 96 years before. The House of Windsor is nothing if not consistent.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors