September 10, 2022 12.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

King Charles III in Lincolnshire: Earning wings at RAF Cranwell to visiting Lincoln Cathedral

Our new King is no stranger to Lincolnshire

The United Kingdom has a new King, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. In her place is her son, Charles, who holds a strong connection here in Lincolnshire.

Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign on the throne came to an end on Thursday, September 8, 2022 – as she passed away following health troubles at her Scottish retreat of Balmoral Castle.

The throne passed immediately to the heir; Elizabeth’s son and former Prince of Wales, Charles. A coronation is yet to be announced, but it has been confirmed that he will be known as King Charles III.

Queen Elizabeth II. | Image: The Royal Family

King Charles III said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother.

“I know her loss will be felt deeply throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

A period of national mourning has now started, and it will continue until the end of the day of the state funeral for the Queen, which has not yet been announced.

The Royal Family will undertake a separate period of royal mourning, subject to the wishes of the King.

In light of his new role at the forefront of the British monarchy, The Lincolnite took a trip down memory lane to reflect on the King’s multiple visits to Lincolnshire.

This spans from receiving his wings from the Royal Air Force as a fresh-faced 23-year-old, right up to overseeing parades at RAF College Cranwell graduations earlier this year.

Marshal of the RAF

King Charles III with the College Warrant Officer. | Photo: RAF Cranwell

His Majesty served in the Royal Air Force for five years in the 1970s, receiving his Flying Badge at a graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell in 1971 – aged just 23.

King Charles then returned to RAF Cranwell some 37 years later, sharing a proud moment as his son, Prince William, received his wings from the Royal Air Force in 2008 – following in his father’s footsteps from almost four decades before.

His accomplishments earned him a prestigious spot as Marshal of the RAF in 2012. It is the highest rank you can be given in the British Air Force.

Since then, the King has regularly attended RAF College Cranwell’s graduation ceremonies, notably in July 2020 where he was the Reviewing Officer for the Sovereign’s Review in a socially distanced event.

It was here where he was greeted to a spectacular Red Arrows flypast, as well as being invited to maintain traditions at the RAF base and plant a lime tree by the College Parade Square.

He was back at RAF Cranwell on April 29, 2022, where he oversaw a parade of 600 aviators who graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five visits in one day

His Majesty addressing the gathering at Louth Cattle Market. | Photo: Michael Powell

March 19, 2018 was an incredibly busy day for King Charles III, as he arrived in Lincolnshire with a packed schedule of visits across the county.

His Majesty began in East Lindsey, where he launched a farming resilience programme at the Louth Cattle Market. It was a bid to provide support to local family livestock and dairy farms with help from his Countryside Fund.

He then travelled to Boston where he spoke to factory staff at Freshtime UK on Riverside Industrial Estate about the company’s recyclable packaging plans for the future.

Staying in Boston, the King went to Age UK’s local office to meet with volunteers and beneficiaries at the Georgian town house that holds the leading charity for older people in the country – of which Charles is a patron.

His next stop was Tattershall Castle, where His Majesty was shown around the historic building before completing his tour of Lincolnshire at the Holy Trinity Church near the castle.

Lincoln Cathedral

It seems only fitting that the crown jewel of Lincolnshire would be visited by royalty on occasion, and Charles frequented Lincoln Cathedral on more than one.

Records show that in 1979 he went up to check out the roof timbers of the cathedral, signing the distinguished visitors book and having the bells rung as he left.

He returned to Lincoln Cathedral in November 2011, this time with Camilla, the now-Queen consort of the United Kingdom, as they met participants of his foundation and accepted the cathedral’s invitation to become Patron of the Cathedral Fabric Fund.

November 2011: Another busy day in Lincolnshire

| National Trust Photo: Sean Strange

Following his visit of Lincoln Cathedral on November 29, 2011, King Charles visited various locations across the county as part of a day of action.

He visited Riseholme College to discuss the future of farming with members of Lincolnshire Young Farmers, as well as giving a speech to the local community.

Joined by Camilla, Charles then made a final stop at the Cholmeley Arms in Burton-le-Coggles, between Stamford and Grantham, to round off his Lincolnshire trip.

Health and justice in Boston

In 1992, His Majesty made a royal visit to Boston, Lincolnshire, where two places were on his agenda.

Charles started by looking around Pilgrim Hospital, which was officially opened by his sister, the Princess Royal, 15 years earlier in 1977.

He then went to the open prison, HMP North Sea Camp, on royal duties to conclude his visit in Lincolnshire.