Queen attends Westminster Abbey service to commemorate RAF's centenary

The Queen and prominent members of the royal family have led national celebrations as the Royal Air Force marks a century since its formation.

It was 100 years ago, on April 1 1918, that the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF - the world's first independent air service.

Beginning a day of events, members of the royal family including the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a service at Westminster Abbey.

And despite still being on maternity leave, after giving birth to Prince Louis only 11 weeks ago, it is understood that Kate felt it was important to attend Tuesday's celebrations.

More than 2,200 people packed Westminster Abbey for the service, with dignitaries including Prime Minister Theresa May, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attending.

RAF centenary
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the RAF centenary service at Westminster Abbey (Simon Dawson/PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed the congregation and said the RAF has in its first 100 years been a decisive factor in serving the country, as well as being key in protecting democracy and freedom.

RAF centenary
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the RAF is key in protecting democracy and freedom (Simon Dawson/PA)
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