Prince Philip served as Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps for 63 years until 2015, when he passed the military patronage on to Kate

By Stephanie Petit
April 21, 2021 10:38 AM
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Kate Middleton and Prince William are back to royal duty following Prince Philip's funeral.

The couple stepped out for a surprise outing on Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth's 95th birthday, with a special tie to Prince Philip, who was laid to rest on Saturday at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Kate, 39, and William, 38, visited 282 (East Ham) Squadron, Air Training Corps in East London to hear more about how the Air Cadets support young people to develop vital life skills. Prince Philip served as Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps for 63 years until 2015, when he passed the military patronage on to Kate, who became Honorary Air Commandant.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: IAN VOGLER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA
kate middleton prince william
Prince William and Kate Middleton

During the visit to 282 Squadron, Kate and Prince William met cadets taking part in field craft exercises and leadership tasks before speaking to a number of the young people who are preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a youth development program headed by Prince Philip — that Kate participated in during her time at Marlborough College! Each year, the Air Cadets receives approximately 3,000 Duke of Edinburgh Awards, amounting to over 193,000 Awards since the program began in 1956.

At the end of the visit, the Squadron took part in a Three Cheers Salute in honor of Prince Philip, who was a talented pilot and gained his Royal Air Force wings in 1953.

Prince Philip
Prince Philip
| Credit: Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty

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Kate even hopped in a flight simulator, and the couple got a close-up look at equipment used by the Air Cadets.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton
| Credit: IAN VOGLER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Credit: PA

Kate, Prince William and other members of the royal family attended Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday. Following the April 9 death of Queen Elizabeth's husband at age 99, the royals also shared never-before-seen photos of Prince Philip with his great-grandchildren, some taken by Kate.

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Prince William said goodbye to his grandfather with a moving tribute.

"I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her," William said. "I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!"