RAF Coningsby personnel attend Kensington Palace party

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Flewin. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Flewin. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

Families of deployed personnel from RAF Coningsby were almost brought to tears after the Duchess of Cambridge delivered a heartwarming speech last week.

About 50 people from RAF Coningsby travelled for more than three hours to attend a party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace.

Children at the party were thrilled to be in the presence of Father Christmas. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

Children at the party were thrilled to be in the presence of Father Christmas. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

They were joined by RAF personnel from RAF Marham, based in Norfolk.

On the day, the royal couple met families and joined in many of the games and activities, such as creating snow globes, making Christmas crackers, snowball fights, and having their photograph taken on a sleigh with Santa.

At the end of proceedings, the Duchess spoke of her own experiences as a military wife, and paid tribute to families who are separated from their loved ones at Christmas.

Group Captain Mark Flewin, Station Commander at RAF Coningsby, said: “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our personnel, and to their families who remain at home.

A youngster had the chance to speak to Father Christmas.  Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

A youngster had the chance to speak to Father Christmas. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

“On behalf of us all, I’d like to thank their Royal Highnesses for hosting such a wonderful event at Kensington Palace and their continued support to the families of deployed personnel.

“It was an occasion that will be remembered with pleasure for a very long time, particularly by the children who clearly enjoyed themselves.”
Corporal Wendy Heslop, whose husband is also in the RAF and who will be deployed over Christmas, said: “It was really heartwarming to hear the Duchess speak about her own experience as a military wife, and to know that the royal couple are thinking of us at this time of year.”

Jim Robinson, Media Comms Officer at RAF Coningsby, explained that Prince William is the Honorary Air Commandant at RAF Coningsby, and extended an invitation for personnel to attend the party.

Joyce Scott, whose son-in-law works for the RAF, was lucky enough to speak to Prince William at the party.

The Duchess of Cambridge delivered a touching speech.  Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

The Duchess of Cambridge delivered a touching speech. Picture: Crown Copyright 2018/SAC Wade.

Speaking on the coach on the way home from London, she said: “It was lovely to meet him - he asked what we thought of the event. It was such an honour to be there.”