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King George VI odd RAF Uniform

Article about: I am 100% sure it's an army Field Marshal's badge. If it were an Air Marshal's badge I would expect to see the wingtips of the albatross (some say eagle) overlaying the wreath. The uniform i

  1. #31

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    He looks a bit like a German Field Marshall at a glance.

  2. #32

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Quote by Battery Command Post View Post
    I did say "within reason" The reality is that the King was not only the head of the British armed services, so holding the ranks of Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the RAF, but was also a member of many individual regiments, as Colonel-in-Chief. Therefore, even within 'King's Regulations' he had a huge choice of uniforms, and would have to choose the most appropriate for whatever occasion he was attending. In this case, he's dressed as a member of the Grenadier Guards (of which he was Col-in-Chief), but with the insignia of a Field Marshal (his army rank by default). The wings are somewhat agin regulations, as they are only supposed to be worn by army officers seconded to the RAF, which he wasn't, but he was qualified and the head of both services, so he did as he liked and wore them

    Rob
    Please be assured that my message had no intention to criticize, which I couldn't afford in the least. It was just in the idea of a general consideration. I'd like to add that I wrote "..British Sovereigns...", but I should have almost said "...British Royals...", considering that the Queen discontinued Uniforms many years ago. I understand that, in the period she did wear them, some adjustments to the Rules were to be made, such as the - for me - unique type of headdress she wore during the Trooping the Colour ceremonies. As to the King's RAF Pilot Wings, I read in a precious small book I bought in London "Customs and Traditions of the R.A.F." by Sq.Ldr P.G.Hering, Gale and Polden ltd,1961, that, according to Queen's (and probably King's) Regulations and Air Council Instructions, the badge must not under any circumstances be worn with any pattern of Naval or Marine uniform. No such stricture applies to men of the British Army, provided they have either served in the R.A.F., or been seconded to it for flying duties. No doubt that George VI, as Duke of York, had served in the R.A.F., preferring it to the Navy. So, I presume he had another good reason, as any other Army Officer in his conditions, to wear the badge. Cheers. Gaetano

  3. #33

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Don't worry, no offence taken This thread has become quite fun and enjoyable

    I'm sure that must be right, about the naval uniforms, as even in WW2, the King never wore RAF wings with his RN uniforms, although he can be seen wearing the naval wings (on the cuff) sometimes. The wearing of RAF wings in the army in WW2 was, according to my references, much more strictly controlled though.

    I don't know which service GVIR preferred, but I believe he was transferred into the RAF whether he wanted to or not. He was a Royal Navy line officer during WWI, fighting in the Battle of Jutland, but was sent home due to illness, and then later became part of the Royal Naval Air Service. When the RAF was created in April 1918, the RNAS and RFC were merged to form the new service.

    Rob

  4. #34

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Quote by Battery Command Post View Post
    Don't worry, no offence taken This thread has become quite fun and enjoyable

    I'm sure that must be right, about the naval uniforms, as even in WW2, the King never wore RAF wings with his RN uniforms, although he can be seen wearing the naval wings (on the cuff) sometimes. The wearing of RAF wings in the army in WW2 was, according to my references, much more strictly controlled though.

    I don't know which service GVIR preferred, but I believe he was transferred into the RAF whether he wanted to or not. He was a Royal Navy line officer during WWI, fighting in the Battle of Jutland, but was sent home due to illness, and then later became part of the Royal Naval Air Service. When the RAF was created in April 1918, the RNAS and RFC were merged to form the new service.

    Rob
    Thank you, Rob, for your further information. You somehow anticipated some questions I was going to pose. Such questions relate to two observations of yours. One was your post about Gen. Browning's SD. Looking at the photo, I noticed that he was wearing the Army Pilot Badge, and I wondered why on Earth the King had not qualified also for such a badge, considering that I had seen photos in which he was wearing Naval Pilot Wings, as you mention. I don't believe Army Pilot Flying Tests were harder than those of the other two Services, should we come to that. Furthermore, you observed, correctly, that the King did not wear the Naval Wings with his naval uniform on all occasions, but only "sometimes". So did he with his RAF wings+Army Uniform, as can be seen in many WW2 photos. My second question is: why? Regards. Gaetano

  5. #35

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    I have to say I really don't know the answer to any of those questions definitely.

    I can only assume that GVIR hadn't qualified for the Army Flying Badge. It is essentially a 'trade badge', and would require the wearer to have passed a specific course, which he presumably didn't take.

    Rob

  6. #36

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Thank you, Rob, for your attention. I agree that my questions make very little sense. It's just in case someone in the forum can give a valid explanation to GVIR's erratic behaviour. And to add more fun to the thread! I must say that I've been monitoring British Royals in uniform for a long time, because it interests me very much, finding out that they generally abide by th Regulations. With the exception of Prince Philip who, for at least a couple of years now, has not been wearing NZQSO medal in his Full Dress. Possibly because it's too heavy on his breast, or puts his medal bar out of balance. Maybe, also, that he simply wants to make his WW2 stars and medals, which now are the first of the row, and that witness his "real" wartime service in the Navy, more conspicuous. Cheers

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