The Queen arrived at Heathrow yesterday in an appropriate sky-blue suit, to join British Airways in commemorating their centenary.
At Waterside, Heathrow, she was introduced to colleagues in heritage uniforms and she visited British Airways’ museum, The Speedbird Centre, where she was shown artefacts and memorabilia relating to her many historic journeys with the airline.
These included images from 1951 when HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh made their first transatlantic flight on a Boeing Stratocruiser from London to Montreal aboard British Airways’ predecessor, BOAC, as well as from her first Commonwealth tour in 1953, after her Coronation.
Aircraft models the Royal Family have travelled on lined The Speedbird Centre route including De Havilland Comet 4s, Boeing 70s, Vickers VC-10s and Lockheed Tristars, along with items from Royal flights such as the Royal book, signed by Her Majesty The Queen, HRH Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, HRH Prince Philip and HRH The Prince of Wales. After unveiling a plaque with the airline’s centenary logo and the words: Her Majesty The Queen visited Waterside to mark British Airways’ centenary – 23rd May 2019, she was presented with a model BOAC Stratocruiser, a perfectly to scale representation of the aircraft she and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh flew on in 1951.
Her Majesty was also introduced to members of the airline’s Community Investment team and champions from around the company who raise money for Flying Start, British Airways’ charity partnership with Comic Relief. To date more than £20 million has been raised.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO said: “We are so honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to visit us on this very special occasion to help to mark our centenary – a landmark in aviation.
“It was such a pleasure to show her the artefacts and memorabilia we have kept and curated over the years, and to introduce her to our passionate teams from all across British Airways who’ve gone above and beyond for customers, .. and those who help raise millions for young people in need.”
“This is the highlight of our centenary year celebrations and something we will all remember for many years to come.”