Britwell – By Royal Appointment

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have met cadets and staff from 2477 (Britwell) Squadron as they opened a new community centre as part of the multi-million pound regeneration of the East Berkshire area. The centre is a brand new community building for residents and will house the new library, catering and learning kitchens, offices and meeting space, a café and the family contact centre.

During the visit HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh spent some time chatting to a group from the local Britwell Air Cadets.

Squadron Commander, Warrant Officer Gary Rawlings takes up the story “we were allocated 11 places so I chose six of my Cadet NCO’s, my senior staff and a civilian committee member to represent the Squadron”.

First to speak to the cadets was The Duke of Edinburgh, who is also the Air Commodore in Chief of the Air Training Corps – ”He wanted to know if the cadets were taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, putting the cadets instantly at ease by making some funny comments about DofE expeditions. The next thing we knew The Queen was with our group and praised the cadets for looking so smart before taking the time to talk to every member of our party”.

Flight Sergeant Jake Dove, 17, who has been a cadet for 4 years, was one of the cadets luck enough to be chosen to meet the Royal Party “we were being briefed where to stand when we heard the Queen was running early, so we quickly got into our positions ready for the Royal Party to arrive. As they arrived the room fell quiet in awe of their presence.

After meeting The Duke of Edinburgh, we were introduced to Her Majesty the Queen – she asked if we were all from the surrounding area and we were all taken aback as we were talking to our Head of State!  After we had come back to earth we all replied “Yes Your Majesty”!  Flight Sergeant Dove continues “In my opinion it was a fantastic experience I shall never forget”.