King Charles praises son Prince William in moving moment as he hands over military role – live updates

The King praised the Prince of Wales, calling him a “very good pilot” as he handed over his former military role to his son and heir.

Prince William, 41, officially became Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps as he joined his father, Charles, 75, at the handover ceremony at Middle Wallop in Hampshire on Monday.

The King, who was welcomed by a Guard of Honour after arriving at the Army Aviation Centre via helicopter, toured the Army Flying Museum, where he delivered a touching speech, which you can watch in full below…

WATCH: King Charles praises son Prince William during joint outing

“I did just want to say what a great joy it is to be with you even briefly on this occasion,” Charles began. “But also tinged with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all and admiring all your many activities and your achievements throughout the time, I’ve been lucky enough to be Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.”

He added: “So all I can say is that having had the pleasure of knowing you for so long, I do hope you’ll go from strength to strength in the future with the Prince of Wales as your new Colonel-in-Chief. The great thing is he’s a very good pilot indeed so that’s encouraging. So ladies and gentlemen, look after yourselves and, and, and I can’t tell you how proud it has made me to be involved with you all this time.”

See all the best photos from William and Charles’ joint outing as it happened… 

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Charles and William sharing a laugh© Getty
Father and son sharing a laugh as they arrive

The King and the Prince of Wales were spotted sharing a chuckle as William arrived at the airfield for the handover ceremony. The new military appointment was announced last August, with Charles handing over the role after 32 years. 

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Charles and William posing in front of a helicopter© Getty
Charles and William during the official handover

 The father and son posed for photographs in front of an Apache helicopter for the official handover. William served in the Army with the Blues and Royals and as an RAF search and rescue pilot. 

Three years as a search and rescue pilot saw him conduct 156 operations, take on routine operational deployment to the Falkland Islands and qualify as an operational Captain.

After leaving the Armed Forces, William retrained to become an air ambulance pilot and worked with the East Anglian Air Ambulance for more than two years from March 2015. 

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Prince William smiles at military handover© Getty
William was all smiles

The King handed William the regiment’s beret and stable belt in front of the Apache before speaking to serving aircrew.

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The King meeting members of the Army Air Corps© Getty
The King meeting members of the Army Air Corps

The King, as Sovereign, is Head of the Armed Forces. His Majesty is a military veteran  himself, having trained and served in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.


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