Queen, royals mark Battle of Britain anniversary
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Queen, royals mark Battle of Britain anniversary

Elderly veteran pilots also at hand to commemorate 75th anniversary of major campaign

Heinkel He 111 bombers during the Battle of Britain (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/British Government)
Heinkel He 111 bombers during the Battle of Britain (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/British Government)

LONDON — On Friday Queen Elizabeth II and other royals watched from the balcony of Buckingham Palace as vintage aircraft flew overhead to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Spitfires and Hurricanes from World War II flew along with modern counterparts as six elderly veteran pilots joined the royals for the ceremony.

The 10th of July is widely viewed as the start of the famous air battle because of a series of Luftwaffe attacks on shipping convoys off the British coast on that day in 1940.

The British eventually beat back the German air forces, dealing the Nazis their first significant defeat.

The queen was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, her sons Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, grandson Prince William and other royals on the balcony.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, fourth left, waves beside from left, Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Prince William and her husband Prince Philip after they watched a Royal Air Force flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain from a balcony at Buckingham Palace, in London, Friday, July 10, 2015 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, fourth left, waves beside from left, Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Prince William and her husband Prince Philip after they watched a Royal Air Force flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain from a balcony at Buckingham Palace, in London, Friday, July 10, 2015 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
An RAF Flypast flies over The Mall and Buckingham Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Stefan Rousseau/AFP)
An RAF Flypast flies over The Mall and Buckingham Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Stefan Rousseau/AFP)
Battle of Britain veterans Wing Commander TF Neil, 249 Squadron Hurricanes (2nd L) and Geoffrey Harris Augustus Wellum, 92 Squadron Spitfires (3rd L) meet RAF members before before watching the RAF flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Anthony Devlin/AFP/POOL)
Battle of Britain veterans Wing Commander TF Neil, 249 Squadron Hurricanes (2nd L) and Geoffrey Harris Augustus Wellum, 92 Squadron Spitfires (3rd L) meet RAF members before before watching the RAF flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Anthony Devlin/AFP/POOL)
A Spitfire (bottom) flies with an RAF Typhoon over Buckingham Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Ben Stansall/AFP)
A Spitfire (bottom) flies with an RAF Typhoon over Buckingham Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 (Ben Stansall/AFP)
Battle of Britain veteran Geoffrey Harris Augustus Wellum, aged 93, of 92 Squadron, watches the RAF flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 Anthony Devlin/AFP/POOL)
Battle of Britain veteran Geoffrey Harris Augustus Wellum, aged 93, of 92 Squadron, watches the RAF flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in London, on July 10, 2015 Anthony Devlin/AFP/POOL)
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