(Picture: AFP) The tribute to the RAF, which became the world's first independent air force when it was founded as a separate entity from the British Army and Royal Navy in 1918, began with a service at Westminster Abbey.
The RAF marked its centenary with a spectacular sky-procession, as some 100 planes, old and new, performed a massed fly-past up the Mall in London and over Buckingham Palace, watched by the Queen and members of the royal family alongside at least 70,000 spectators. (Picture: "PA) 'I remember the Battle of Britain being fought in the skies above us and we shall never forget the courage and sacrifice of that time" (Picture: "REX) Some of the veterans were due to attend the celebrations on Tuesday, including Wing Commander Paul Farnes, who flew in the Battle of Britain, and Air Commodore Charles Clarke who was shot down over Germany during the war.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed the congregation and said the RAF has in its first 100 years been a decisive factor in serving the country, as well as being key in protecting democracy and freedom.
Up to 100 jets, helicopters and aeroplanes from across a range of different eras of RAF history roared over Buckingham Palace as the Queen and others, including the Fab Four of Harry, Meghan, William and Kate, watched on from the royal balcony.
Earlier the royals attended a service at Westminster Abbey along with dignitaries including Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson.
She will present a new Queen's Colour to the RAF in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and make a brief speech before appearing on the balcony for the flypast. In their biggest formation, 22 Typhoon jets spelled out the number 100.
Squadron Leader Mike Child said the arrangement of the aircraft took "months of planning", with pilots also undertaking simulator training and multiple briefings.