Her Majesty the Queen and the Avro Vulcan's Platinum Jubilee

25 February 2022

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England © Crown Copyright V3

On 6 February 1952, while in Kenya with her husband Prince Phillip, Princess Elizabeth was given news of the death of her father King George VI and was proclaimed Queen Elizabeth II. This year sees the 70th year on the throne for Her Majesty, making her the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

The Accession Declaration which was read and signed by Elizabeth II when she attended her first State Opening of Parliament on 4 November 1952.

2022 is not only the Platinum Jubilee of The Queen’s accession to the throne, it is also 70 years since the Avro Vulcan’s maiden flight on 30 August 1952.

In 2012, when Her Majesty the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne and the aircraft type shared the Diamond Jubilee with her, Vulcan XH558 toured the UK celebrating Britain’s aviation and engineering achievements during The Queen’s reign as a Salute to Her Majesty.

On 18 June 2012, with approval from the Royal Household, Vulcan XH558 flew a celebration flypast while Her Majesty was visiting the North East of England as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour. The Queen and Prince Phillip spent the night on a luxury boat, the Leander, in Sunderland docks before undertaking their royal duties the following day around the North East. Just before they were due to step ashore XH558 flew over them at 1,000 feet.

The Vulcan XH558 flypast is reported at 1 min 19 secs in this BBC Look North news clip.

AEO on the day, Barry Masefield, described the event:

“We roared overhead, and Martin carried out a full power spiral climb to let all of Sunderland people know we had arrived. We completed one orbit around the Royal party and then departed southwards. Job done.”

Throughout the tour, XH558 carried a leather-bound book of good wishes inscribed with the names of supporters and their words of support for Her Majesty the Queen.

XH558 Chief Engineer ‘Taff’ Stone placing the book aboard XH558

It was an initiative which Buckingham Palace approved and they were presented the book at Buckingham Palace at the end of the tour.

Dr Robert Pleming presenting the book at Buckingham Palace
Tags: XH558

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