Duchess of Cambridge becomes RAF Air Cadets' patron

Duchess of Cambridge, Duke of Edinburgh and air cadets Image copyright PA

The Duchess of Cambridge has become patron of the RAF Air Cadets - taking over from the Duke of Edinburgh, who has held the position for 63 years.

Her appointment as Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief is her first military-linked role.

She will represent 42,000 air cadets aged 12-19 and 15,000 adult volunteers.

Thanking the 94-year-old duke, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said he was "admired and respected by cadets and volunteers alike" and would be missed.

The Duchess of Cambridge is already patron of a number of youth and mental health charities, and is a trained scout volunteer.

The Duke of Edinburgh took up his appointment with the air cadets following the death of founding patron King George VI.

Relinquishing his role during an audience at Buckingham Palace, he was presented with an engraved crystal vase celebrating 75 years of the cadets.

Image copyright PA

Air Cmdr McCafferty said: "We will be forever grateful to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh for his outstanding commitment to the Air Training Corps over the decades.

"He is admired and respected by cadets and volunteers alike and we will miss his ready sense of humour and genuine interest in the development of the nation's youth."

The duchess, whose husband Prince William trained as a helicopter pilot with the RAF, was presented with a copy of Horizons, the history of the air cadets.

"Her links to the RAF family are already well-established and her desire to support youth development is well recognised around the world," Air Cmdr McCafferty said:

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