Royal New Zealand Air Force Group Captain Stuart Brownlie and Air Training Corps cadets also took part in the service in which wreaths were laid and prayers commemorated “the sacrifice of the few for the many in times of war and strife” in the air battle, which took place between July 1940 and May 1941.
William is patron of the body that is responsible for keeping aircraft like the Spitfire and Hurricane in the air from its home at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
William – an air ambulance helicopter pilot – flew the Chipmunk training craft for all but the take-off and landing, sitting in the cockpit in front of Squadron Leader Duncan Mason.
Prince Harry has piloted the plane and William replied “my brother’s been up in one and I’m dying to do it”. Their plane was joined by a Spitfire and the two flew in formation.
The Duke was clearly impressed with the Spitfire, telling the two pilots and 97-year-old Mr Wilkinson: “Seeing it flying alongside was fantastic – pretty special”.
The celebration was jointly held by the Royal Air Force, the RAF Benevolent Fund, and the RAF Museum, at the RAF’s last remaining Battle of Britain station.
RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire will celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of its squadrons today. The squadron is now a reserve unit, and only trains pilots of the Eurofighter Typhoon, a type of fighter plane.
Typhoons have been scrambled from Coningsby a number of times this year after Russian aircraft were identified flying close to United Kingdom air space.
Mr Kinahan said: “The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is an opportunity for us to reflect on what was perhaps the major turning point of the Second World War and therefore a vital chapter in the history of our nation”.