The King hands over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to The Prince of Wales

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At the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, His Majesty The King has officially handed over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The King and The Prince of Wales on a visit to the Army Air Corps

In August 2023, following His Majesty’s Accession, The King was pleased to announce military appointments including that The Prince of Wales would become Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps. 

The King and The Prince of Wales at Middle Wallop

The role was previously held by His Majesty The King, as Prince of Wales, for 31 years.

The King, as Prince of Wales, presents operational service medals to members of the Army Air Corps in 2013.
The King, as Prince of Wales, presents operational service medals to members of the Army Air Corps in 2013.

 

The King, as Sovereign, is Head of the Armed Forces. His Majesty is a military veteran himself, having trained and served in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

Prince Charles in the cockpit of a Chipmunk aircraft in 1969
Prince Charles in the cockpit of a Chipmunk aircraft in 1969.

 

On arrival, The King was met by a Guard of Honour and Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Borton, Colonel Commandant of the Army Air Corps, who joined His Majesty on a tour of The Army Flying Museum. 

Located at Middle Wallop, the Museum tells the story of British army flying from the early days of military ballooning to the modern Army Air Corps.

The King at Middle Wallop

Within the Museum, The King met veterans and their families, before unveiling a plaque which commemorates the arrival of the first Apache AH Mk.1 to be installed in a UK museum. 

The Apache, now at The Army Flying Museum was one of two that carried troops on their stub wings in the Battle of Jugroom Fort, Afghanistan, in 2007.

The King at Middle Wallop

The King said:

Let me just say what a great joy it is to be with you, even briefly, on this occasion but also it is tinged with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all, admiring your many activities and achievements through the time that I’ve been lucky enough to be Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.

His Majesty consequently walked across the airfield to the Middle Wallop Control Tower, where, in front of an Apache, The King was met by The Prince of Wales to officially hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps. 

The King hands over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to The Prince of Wales

Together, The King and The Prince of Wales met serving aircrew.

The King and The Prince of Wales in Middle Wallop

Following His Majesty's departure, The Prince of Wales embarked on his first engagement with the Army Air Corps as Colonel-in-Chief. 

The King and The Prince of Wales in Middle Wallop

The Prince of Wales has a strong affiliation with the Armed Forces, having served in the Army as a Platoon Commander in The Blues and Royals, before completing flying training in the Royal Air Force. His Royal Highness served as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot, spending three years at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales.

The Prince received a briefing on the Army Air Corps’ current work and saw training and operational aircraft used by the Regiment, before meeting aircrew and the supporting ground staff. 

The Prince of Wales in Middle Wallop

His Royal Highness heard from soldiers across a range of roles within the regiment that are involved in supporting operations. 

The Prince of Wales at Middle Wallop

The Prince left the base on an Apache capability flight, learning more about the capabilities of the equipment and the people that fly and support it.

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