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IN PICTURES: Armed Forces mount spectacular Diamond Jubilee tribute

Thousands of troops, six massed bands and the biggest tri-Service flypast in recent years formed a spectacular tribute by the Armed Forces to Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor this weekend.

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Members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces muster on the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle

Members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces muster on the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle [Picture: Sergeant Steve Hughes, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

The Armed Forces Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster was staged on Saturday, 19 May, at Windsor to honour the Queen’s 60-year reign and mark her unique relationship with the Armed Forces as their Commander-in-Chief.

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It began with a ‘Diamond Nine’ formation flypast of RAF Typhoons over Windsor Castle before more than 2,500 Service personnel from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force paraded through the Castle Quadrangle in front of the Queen.

Heading through the town, the parade was cheered along by thousands of well-wishers before mustering in a specially-built arena in the grounds of the castle.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh then made their way along the parade route in her Bentley State Limousine to join them. Already assembled in the audience were other members of the Royal Family as well as members of foreign Royal Families, the Service Chiefs, ministers, and more than 3,000 Service personnel, their families and veterans.

RAF Tucanos fly in a '60' formation

RAF Tucanos fly in a '60' formation [Picture: Pete Gowing, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

There then followed a drumhead service, speeches by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, and Her Majesty, the performance of new pieces of music written for the event, and a special ‘three cheers’ from the members of the Armed Forces.

To close the celebrations, a magnificent 78-aircraft flypast from all three Services took place which included helicopters, the famous Lancaster and Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Hercules, VC10 and Tornado aircraft, Hawks flying in an ‘E II R’ formation, and Tucanos flying in a ‘60’ formation - finishing with the world-renowned Red Arrows.

Speaking at the event, General Richards said:

It is with great pride that the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force come to Windsor today to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Queen’s deep interest and commitment to the Armed Forces has touched many servicemen and women and their families over the past 60 years.

I know I speak for all those who have the privilege to wear her uniform when I offer my heartfelt thanks to Her Majesty for her dedication to the Armed Forces, and to our country.

The Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster was the first major national celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Published 21 May 2012