Prince Harry joins Battle of Britain commemorations

A memorial fly past of 40 Second World War-era fighter planes took place today to mark the 75th Anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain.

After a service at St Paul's Cathedral, Prince Harry joined veterans at the flypast at Goodwood in Sussex - though gave up his place on a scheduled Spitfire flight after one of the planes suffered a mechanical issue.

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Battle of Britain planes take to skies in anniversary display

Vintage World War Two aircraft, including the famous Spitfires and Hurricanes, took to the skies over West Sussex this afternoon to mark 75 years since victory in the Battle of Britain.

During the flypast, around 40 vintage planes flew in formation above Goodwood Aerodrome before dispersing across wartime airfields over the south of England.

It amounted to the biggest gathering of Battle of Britain aircraft since the Second World War - with planes coming from across the UK, Europe and the United States.

Prince Harry was due to fly in one of four two-seater Spitfires, but after a mechanical fault on one he gave up his place so a 95-year-old veteran and two injured servicemen could still take part in the display.


Prince Harry gives up place on Spitfire display

Prince Harry at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex today.

Prince Harry has given up his seat in a Spitfire during today's Battle of Britain commemorations - instead allowing a 95-year-old veteran to take his place.

The prince's spokesman said Harry - who turns 31 today - had given up his seat after one of the planes was found to have a mechanical fault.

Tom Neil, an ex-wing commanded and Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire pilot, will now be able to fly one of the three remaining vintage two-seater aircraft.

Harry had also wanted to ensure that the two remaining Spitfire flights in the display went to an RAF corporal and a former para who won their positions on a Spitfire scholarship training programme.

Corbyn 'silent' during national anthem at St Paul's memorial

Jeremy Corbyn opted not to sing the national anthem during a Battle of Britain memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral this morning.

The new Labour leader - an avowed republican who has previously called for the monarchy to be abolished - fell silent as others sang God Save the Queen during today's commemorations, the Press Association reported.

Jeremy Corbyn (right) stands silent as others, including Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (left), sing God Save the Queen. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Since winning the leadership election in a landslide vote, Corbyn has, however, accepted an invitation to become a member of the Queen's privy council.

Accepting a role on the council means he will receive briefings on issues of national security.

Jeremy attended today’s event to show respect for those who fought in conflicts for Britain.

As he said in the words issued this morning, the heroism of the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain is something to which we all owe an enormous debt of gratitude.

He stood in respectful silence during the anthem.

– A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn and Cameron shake hands at St Paul's service

Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron have been pictured shaking hands during a St Paul's Cathedral service marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Corbyn - who became Labour leader this weekend - arrived at the ceremony with new deputy Tom Watson.

Jeremy Corbyn shakes hands with David Cameron during the Battle of Britain service. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Defence secretary Michael Fallon was among other politicians present at the ceremony, which was also attended by veterans of the conflict.

Prince Harry prepares for Battle of Britain Spitfire flight

Prince Harry seen at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Prince Harry will take to the skies in a Spitfire later as he plays his part in today's Battle of Britain commemorations.

Pictured at Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex this morning ahead of the flypast, Harry - who today turns 31 - can be seen chatting with other aircrew taking part.

Harry and other aircrew chat ahead of today's flight. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The royal, who was seen sporting a beard and a badge reading 'Harry Wales', will be flying among 40 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Blenheims brought to the south of England from across the UK, USA and Europe.

Today's memorials mark 75 years since victory in the three-and-a-half-month battle, during which Hitler's Germany attempted to batter the RAF into submission.


  1. Libby Wiener

Jeremy Corbyn arrives for Battle of Britain memorial

Jeremy Corbyn, centre, arrives with deputy leader Tom Watson, left.

Newly-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has arrived for his first official engagement at the Battle of Britain memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral.

He was wearing a tie and was accompanied by his deputy Tom Watson.

There had been suggestions Mr Corbyn wasn't keen to attend but it seems such concerns were unfounded.

In a statement released to mark the ceremony, Mr Corbyn praised those who had helped Britain and the allies defeat the Nazis.

My mum served as an air raid warden and my dad in the Home Guard.

Like that whole generation, they showed tremendous courage and determination to defeat fascism. The heroism of the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain is something to which we all owe an enormous debt of gratitude.

The loss of life - both civilian and military - should be commemorated so that we both honour their lives and do all that we can to ensure future generations are spared the horrors of war.

– Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour leader

Veterans to be honoured in Battle of Britain service

Veterans and current RAF personnel have arrived at St Paul's Cathedral ahead of a service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

RAF personnel outside St Paul's Cathedral.

One of those outside the famous London landmark ahead of today's ceremony was 94-year-old Eileen Younghusband, who helped track aircraft during the three-and-a-half month battle.

Younghusband was 18 when she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and detected the first of Hitler's V2 rockets as they fell on London.

Eileen Younghusban, 95, speaks to ITV News outside St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: Libby Wiener/ITV News

Another veteran, former Hurricane pilot William Clark, was presented with the Africa Star outside the cathedral as he celebrated turning 95.

Former Hurricane pilot William Clark presented with the Africa Star on his 95th birthday. Credit: Libby Wiener/ITV News

The service will be followed by an aerial display at Goodwood in Sussex, during which Prince Harry will fly a Spitfire to mark the anniversary.

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