RAF aviators on parade at the Coronation in May are honoured to be among the first to wear The King’s new cypher on their uniforms, alongside their Royal Navy and British Army colleagues.
The new design of the RAF cap badge, and other adornments to RAF uniforms, reflect the style of crown personally selected by HM The King to represent his sovereignty.
The Royal cypher is a monogram-style design used by the reigning monarch. Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher was featured on RAF uniforms from Her Majesty’s coronation in 1953 and consisted of the letters EIIR with St Edward’s Crown above.
King Charles’ cypher features the letter ‘C’ intertwined with the letter ‘R’ for Rex (Latin for King), with ‘III’ within the ‘R’ and the Tudor Crown sitting above.
His Majesty’s cypher is an important symbol for the RAF. It will be worn by every RAF aviator around the world and demonstrates their belonging to His Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Wing Commander Crook OBE
RAF’s Ceremonial Lead
Wing Commander Waterworth was closely involved in this work.
It is a great personal honour to be part of the team working hard to ensure that the new RAF badges are ready in time for the King’s coronation. I know that every aviator on parade during this historic day will feel enormous pride when wearing them.
Wing Commander Waterworth
The eventual changing of all RAF uniform items to include The King’s cypher will not happen just yet. Existing uniform stocks that feature Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher will continue to be used for a period of several years. The exceptions will be for new recruits at RAF Halton and RAF Cranwell, aviators who are involved in delivering ceremonial duties, such as The King’s Colours Squadron, RAF Musicians, and senior officers.
The King has a close affiliation with the RAF, having served as an RAF Officer in the 1970s. The Monarch is the Head of the Armed Forces and The King maintains a close bond with the Service. In November 2022, the RAF’s ceremonial unit was redesignated to become The King’s Colour Squadron.