Coronation flypast scaled back due to bad weather as London hit by downpour

6 May 2023, 14:30 | Updated: 6 May 2023, 15:05

The military flypast over Buckingham Palace marking King Charles' coronation has been scaled back due to bad weather and will feature just helicopters and The Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The military flypast over Buckingham Palace marking King Charles' coronation has been scaled back due to bad weather and will feature just helicopters and The Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defence has said. Picture: Getty

By Chris Samuel

The military flypast over Buckingham Palace marking King Charles' coronation has been scaled back due to bad weather and will feature just helicopters and The Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The display had been scheduled to comprise over 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including acrobatics display team The Arrows, and would have seen them pass Buckingham Palace at around 2.30pm.

However, the inclement weather meant the Arrows would “wait until the last minute” before deciding whether or not the display could take place.

Read more: King Charles’s Coronation LIVE: God Save The King! Charles III crowned at Westminster Abbey

Read more: Prince George holds his grandfather's robes as King Charles prays ahead of Coronation ceremony

Speaking to ITV News, squadron leader Tom Bould said: “The whole flypast will be 1,000 feet, so we need the cloud base to just be above that and right now the forecast is on those limits.

He added: “We will get airborne, we’ll go down to the hold and then we will make those weather calls right up until the point where we’re due to be over the top of the palace".

King Charles III  and Queen Camilla look on from the Buckingham Palace balcony while viewing the Royal Air Force fly-past in central London on May 6, 2023, after their coronations.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla look on from the Buckingham Palace balcony while viewing the Royal Air Force fly-past in central London on May 6, 2023, after their coronations. Picture: Getty

“It’s the British weather, and you never know what’s going to happen.”

The flypast was originally supposed to last for six minutes, but the MOD has now said it will clock in at less than half that, lasting two minutes and 30 seconds.

It's expected that King Charles and Queen Camilla will watch the display from the balcony of The Palace.

The Red Arrows perform a fly-past over central London
The Red Arrows perform a fly-past over central London. Picture: Getty

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna stressed that it wasn't his place to decide whether the flypast should go ahead, but said: "There's going to be low cloud around so it's not going to be the of best conditions. Certainly not good conditions for flying,"

Mr Petagna warned royal fans travelling to central London that it was “definitely wet weather gear” and that weather this afternoon is "not going be very nice".

“A lot of standing water around, puddles," he said. "Things could be a lot better, to be honest, not looking nice at all.”

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