Red Arrows Shoot Across London Sky

RAF’s flight demonstration team provides colorful celebration for queen’s birthday

By BlueSkyStaff

Published June 10, 2019

Read Time: < 1 min


When the British throw a birthday party, they do it with style.

Among the many astonishing sights for Queen Elizabeth II’s 93rd birthday party last week was a flawless flyover performed by the Red Arrow squadron – think of them as the Royal Air Force’s equivalent to the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.

The nine-pilot team flying BAE Hawk training craft zoomed above London on Saturday streaming red, white and blue smoke (the colors of the Union Jack) to honor the United Kingdom’s longest-lived monarch.

The flyover was part of the “Trooping of the Colour,” the largest annual military parade in England, featuring 400 musicians, 1,400 soldiers dressed in their finest uniforms, 200 horses and a pair of 41-gun salutes. The celebration was aired live on television.

Before you quibble: yes, we know the queen’s birthday is April 21. But the traditional public celebration of the reigning monarch’s birthday always coincides with the parade, a tradition nearly three centuries old.

The celebration also coincided with the “Pittsburgh: Art on the Bank” exhibition along the Thames River in London’s Southbank neighborhood, which featured work from 12 Pittsburgh artists as well as hosted discussions with artists and free silk-screening sessions.

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