It is with overwhelming sadness that the Royal Air Force mourns the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Throughout his great life, His Royal Highness has been the embodiment of service and respect; a constant example to us all, across all ranks and ages, our families and the wider Royal Air Force community.
His Royal Highness served with distinction in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, fighting for our freedom. He was of that generation whose courage and resilience inspires us to this day. He has been deeply connected to the armed forces and to our cadet organisations ever since, holding the rank of Marshal of the Royal Air Force and until recently Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps.
His Royal Highness was a talented, gifted pilot; earning his Royal Air Force wings in 1953; qualifying on 59 different aeroplanes and helicopters and with nearly 6000 hrs at the controls; often flying the Royal Family himself in aircraft of the Queens Flight.
We remember his dynamism, his curiosity, his passion for aviation and the technology that drives us forward. Above all, we recognise the deep sense of duty and a life that has been the epitome of service before self.
On behalf of everyone in the Royal Air Force, serving and retired, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family at their loss, and our immense gratitude for the life and inspirational service of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff