Queen speaks to RAAF servicewoman about lockdown difficulties
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The Queen made a joke about lockdown at her first public appearance of 2021. The monarch has been visiting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Air Forces Memorial in Surrey to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). During the visit, the royal sympathised with a female member about what it must be like coming to the UK and not being able to go anywhere.
She said: “It’s rather bad luck to have arrived in lockdown, isn’t it?”
The officer’s reply wasn’t audible under the music playing.
However, she could be heard saying that she’d never been to the UK before.
The Queen replied: “I hope in the next couple of years you’ll be able to travel a bit more.”
In another conversation with a serviceman, the monarch joked about “chasing Russians”.
The pair were talking about the Typhoon jets situated in Northumberland.
A guide introduced the serviceman as a fighter controller from the area at the Battlespace and Management Operation Centre.
The Queen asked what the job entailed.
Queen speaks to RAAF officer about 'chasing Russians'
The officer explained that those in his role “talk to the Typhoons when they launch” to intercept aircrafts.
At which point, the royal quipped: “Have you been sent off to chase the Russians?”
The serviceman smiled, confirming “that’s correct” and adding that it was “a lot of fun” for them.
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The Queen had visited the same base in 1953, the same year of her coronation.
In October of that year, she opened a Commonwealth Graves memorial in Surrey.
It commemorated the airmen and women of the Commonwealth who died in Europe without a known grave.
Her outing this year is only her fourth venture outside Palace walls since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020.
The other three were her visit to Porton Down with Prince William, her Cenotaph appearance for Remembrance Sunday and a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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