Flypast soars over National Memorial Arboretum in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

  • Watch Phil Brewster's report from the National Memorial Arboretum as people visit to watch a flypast and pay their respects to the late Queen

A flypast over the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire has taken in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.

The formation consisted of nine former Armed Forces training aircraft including De Havilland Chipmunks and Scottish Aviation Bulldogs.

The planes swept through the sky as a gesture of respect and gratitude to the Queen for her 70 years of service and dedication as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

As well as the flypast, many people have been visiting the site to lay flowers as a mark of respect for the Queen ahead of her funeral on Monday, September 19.

Flowers have been laid down at the National Memorial Arboretum to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Neill Martin-Hoare, head of events at the arboretum, said: "It symbolises actually what Her Majesty did for us as a country, as a nation.

"But also to the wider communities, the Commonwealth and certainly to the people who have come and visited throughout this week what she meant to them personally.

One aircraft nicknamed "The Royal Chipmunk" was flown by King Charles III during his flight training and played a symbolic role in the flypast.

The aircraft's flew together in a distinctive diamond nine formation before The Royal Chipmunk broke off 10 seconds before reaching the Armed Forces Memorial.

The Queen visited the National Memorial Arboretum several times during her 70-year reign.

She was Patron of the Royal British Legion and through it, the National Memorial Arboretum.

The site described the late monarch as being gracious and generous in providing support over the years.  

Her first visit was in 2002 as part of her Golden Jubilee tour and shortly after the site's opening.

Tributes have been left in memory of Queen Elizabeth II

In 2007, the Armed Forces Memorial was dedicated in the Queen's presence.

Three years later, the Queen attended the Armed Forces Memorial for the dedication of the names of the 112 members of UK Armed Forces who were killed on duty during 2010.

Her last visit was in May 2016 when she was present for the dedication of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Memorial.

During that visit she also observed construction work on the Arboretum's current Remembrance Centre. 

The late monarch unveils a plaque during a service at the National Memorial Arboretum Credit: PA Images

Queen Elizabeth II's last visit was in May 2016 for the dedication of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Memorial.

Other senior members of the Royal family such as King Charles III, the new Prince of Wales Prince William, Prince Harry, and Princess Anne continue to play their part in the National Memorial Arboretum.

Floral tributes left for the Queen by people visiting the National Memorial Arboretum last week.

Flowers and personal messages have been left at the National Memorial Arboretum in tribute to the late Queen Credit: PA Images

Messages written on paper, cards, and even candles by people across the Midlands reflect their thoughts and emotions about the Queen's passing, and just how much she meant to the community.

The National Memorial Arboretum is open all year-round place for people to come a remember loved ones.

It will remain open on Monday 19th September on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.