Royal Corner

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Return to Royal Duties

William and Kate visited RAF Air Cadets 282 Squadron to hear about how they've managed throughout the pandemic and to also honour the Duke's late grandfather, Prince Philip.

APRIL 21st, 2021

© Getty Images


t was business as usual for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they returned to royal duties after the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday. The royal couple were visiting RAF Air Cadets, 282 Squadron, at Vicarage Lane in London today due to the Duchess’ role as Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief.

Catherine inherited the role from the late Duke of Edinburgh, who first held the position for 63 years before handing it down to his granddaughter-in-law in 2015.

William and Catherine spent the day meeting with cadets, and in one particularly moving moment of the engagement, stood to receive three cheers in memory of the late Duke.

Established in 1941, the Air Cadets is a UK-wide cadet force with more than 32,000 members aged between 12-19 years old.

KensingtonRoyal shared two photographs, one of the Cambridges today and another of Prince Philip in the role now occupied by the Duchess of Cambridge. - © KensingtonRoyal/Instagram

A photo of Prince Philip inspecting Air Cadets in his role as Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief. - © KensingtonRoyal/Instagram

Later on in the engagement, the Duchess climbed into a flight simulator - a Grob Tutor - to see how the cadets learn the basic skills of flying an aircraft. William diligently held his wife’s clutch bag whilst jokingly asking onlookers whether they felt it suited his outfit.

In a further touching tribute to his grandfather, the Duke of Cambridge spoke with cadets who were preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards by taking part in leadership tasks and fieldcraft exercises. He also heard about how inspiring his grandfather Prince Philip had been to them.

Each year, the Air Cadets receive around 3,000 Duke of Edinburgh Awards across the scheme’s Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers. This has amounted to over 193,000 Awards since the programme began in 1956.

Outside, the couple met with RAF instructors who demonstrated just some of the equipment the air cadets use in training, including a ‘basher’ - codeword for a tent. William asked whether they had been able to sleep in them yet, due to the restrictions of Covid-19. Sadly the cadets hadn’t.

William and Catherine speak with air cadets of 282 Squadron. - © Getty Images

William and Catherine speak with air cadets of 282 Squadron. - © ITV

The Duchess of Cambridge takes a flying lesson in a flight simulator. - © Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess also spoke with a group of serving RAF officers who were all previously cadets. They heard all about how the scheme had offered them life changing skills in preparation for joining the AirForce.

For the visit the Duchess of Cambridge wore a previously worn Alexander McQueen coat for the visit and paired the outfit with some stylish black high-heeled shoes.

The visit took place with special permission from The Queen, so that William and Kate could break the Royal Family’s period of mourning. Princess Anne recently received the same permission for a visit to the Royal Yacht Squadron.

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