The Princess of Wales Visits RNAS Yeovilton: Exploring her Aviation Skills

In a display of her commitment to the Royal Navy, the Princess of Wales recently visited the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton. The visit involved a range of activities, including testing her aviation skills in a flight simulator. It is noteworthy that the King himself trained at this very air station in 1974, further highlighting the historical significance of this visit.

During her visit, the Princess had the opportunity to explore the various facilities and interact with the personnel at RNAS Yeovilton. She spent time in the traffic control tower, engaging with the staff and even meeting an airborne Wildcat helicopter crew. This hands-on approach demonstrates the Princess’s commitment to understanding the intricacies of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) and the personnel involved.

The Princess’s visit began with training exercises in a hangar, where she interacted with survival equipment technicians. These technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of aircrew members, allowing them to operate effectively in challenging environments. By experiencing these training exercises firsthand, the Princess gains a deeper understanding of the complex procedures involved in aviation.

As part of her visit, the Princess was shown two types of helicopters used by the Royal Navy. The Merlin Mk4 helicopter, deployed globally by the Royal Marines for disaster relief operations, was one of the highlights. Additionally, she had the opportunity to explore the capabilities of the Merlin Mk2, which is specifically designed for submarine detection. These interactions provide valuable insights into the different roles played by the Royal Navy’s helicopters.

One of the most exciting moments of the visit was when the Princess had the chance to fly a Wildcat MK2 in a simulator. This simulator allows aircrew to practice various flying scenarios, including over land or onto ships. By taking part in this activity, the Princess gains a firsthand experience of the challenges faced by aircrew and the advanced technology used in aviation.

RNAS Yeovilton is home to over 4,000 personnel and serves as a significant training and operational base for frontline squadrons. The airbase plays a critical role in maintaining the readiness and efficiency of the Fleet Air Arm. The Princess’s visit to RNAS Yeovilton emphasizes her support for the Royal Navy and her dedication to understanding the role of the Fleet Air Arm.

While the Princess was engaging with the Fleet Air Arm, the Prince of Wales embarked on his own journey. He traveled to New York to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. This global event brought together influential leaders and innovators, including former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, Dame Jacinda Ardern, and Bill Gates. The Prince’s involvement in this prestigious event demonstrates his commitment to advancing environmental solutions on a global scale.

The Princess of Wales’s visit to RNAS Yeovilton showcased her dedication to the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm. Through her exploration of the facilities, engagement with personnel, and hands-on experience in the flight simulator, she demonstrated her genuine interest in the field of aviation. The visit also highlighted the broader commitment of the royal family to important causes, as evidenced by the Prince of Wales’s involvement in the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. Overall, these engagements serve as a testament to the royal family’s unwavering support for various sectors and their pursuit of positive change on both a local and global scale.


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