Royalty and statesmen

William, who has just completed an intensive pilot training course at the RAF flying school, accompanied his father and stepmother as they signed the visitors book. Charles was guest of honour at the service's 90th anniversary celebrations
Photo: Getty Images
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The Prince of Wales, who's also a Cranwell graduate, spoke of his pride in William's achievement
Photo: Getty Images

One of the highlights of the occasion was a flypast of Spitfires and Hurricanes
Photo: PA

Prince Charles praises his graduating flying officer son

11 APRIL 2008
Click here to see a video of William showing off his flying skills

Prince Charles made a nostalgic return to Cranwell, the Royal Air Force flying school from which he graduated in 1971 and where his son William has been undergoing pilot training.

Dressed in full military uniform, the heir to the throne underlined the royal family's special ties with the RAF as he attended a dinner to mark the service's 90th anniversary.

Looking equally spiffy in his mess outfit, William who has been on attachment to the RAF and will be receive his pilots' wings from his dad on Friday listened as Prince Charles spoke about him following a family tradition.

"I am proud that my eldest son is here, some 37 years after I entered this august establishment," the Prince of Wales told an audience which included his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, elegantly attired for the occasion in Versace.

Reading out from his own instructor's report which stated he had "the potential of making a great flying instructor," Charles joked: "Perish the thought!".

Before the gala dinner the royal couple joined other VIP guests on the steps of the historic college to watch a magnificent sunset flypast of Spitfires and Hurricanes.


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