‘An honour’ to take part in the wedding event of the year

NOT only is Wattisham welcoming Prince Harry this week, but the airfield is also celebrating after being asked to take part in the flypast at Friday’s Royal Wedding.

An RAF Search and Rescue Sea King helicopter flew over Buckingham Palace, watched by the newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The aircraft is part of 22 Squadron, with which Prince William flies in Wales.

Most of his colleagues from Wales where wedding guests, so the Wattisham aircraft flew the mission, piloted by B Flight Commander New Zealander Sq Ldr Holly Steel with William’s former instructor, Flt Lt Lee Turner, as co-pilot.

It was an extra-special experience for search and rescue winch man paramedic Lee Clark, from Woolpit. He was disappointed when he left his post at the Anglesey base after 18 months, shortly before Prince William joined, missing out on his chance to work alongside the future King of England and missing out on an invite to the wedding of the year.

But Lee, 41, was honoured that he got to take part in the wedding celebrations on April 29.

“It would have been nice to go to the wedding, however, I took part so I was quite happy with that. It was an honour to do it and it was quite nerve-wracking as well with two billion pairs of eyes looking at you. Not only did we have the crowds there but also the TV cameras, we wanted to make sure everything went perfectly,” said Lee.

Lee has worked as part of the search and rescue Sea King team for seven years.

RAF Honington was also involved in the big event – military personnel from the base were among thousands to line the route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.