The military flyby over Buckingham Palace to mark the coronation of the King and Queen has been scaled down due to the weather and will now include helicopters and the Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defense says.
More than 60 Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force aircraft – including the Arrows – were due to fly over Buckingham Palace around 2.30pm.
However, rain meant the Arrows would “wait until the last minute” to decide if the display could go ahead.
Watch the coronation fly past Buckingham Palace live
Defense chiefs had planned the flybys to include 14 waves involving 60 aircraft, including F-35B Lightning and Typhoon FGR4 jets, as well as Spitfires, Hurricanes and a Lancaster.
“The total flyby will be 1,000ft so we need cloud base just above and at the moment the forecast is at those limits,” squadron leader Tom Bould told ITV News.
“We’re going to get airborne, we’re going to go down into the hold and then we’re going to make these weather calls, to the point where we’re going to be over the top of the palace,” he added.
“It’s the British weather and you never know what’s going to happen.”
The ad above The Mall and Buckingham Palace was originally meant to last six minutes, but the scaled down version will last less than half that time.
The Department of Defense said it would take two minutes and 30 seconds.
The King and Queen are expected to watch the flyby from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said there will be low clouds – ‘not good conditions to fly’.
It was “definitely wet weather conditions,” he said. “It won’t be very nice this afternoon,” he said.
“Lots of standing water around, puddles. Things could be a lot better to be honest they don’t look good at all.”
He said Saturday’s rain was certainly good for reservoirs, but “not particularly good when you’re hosting events outside, like a lot of people do”.
Mr Petagna added: “It’s not looking good for the South East to be honest: from now on we’re going to see overcast skies and showers throughout the day.
“So in the Southeast some of the rain could be heavy and get a little rainier in the afternoon.”
A Red Arrows flight over Bournemouth just before 3pm was canceled due to the weather.
The planned wide sections of the flyover route were:
- Area A between 1.15pm and 3.00pm: The Lincolnshire coast including Skegness and the Norfolk coast including Cromer and Great Yarmouth
- Area B between 1.45pm and 3.00pm: Thetford, Norfolk and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
- Area C between 2pm and 3pm: Ipswich, Suffolk
- Area D between 2pm and 2.45pm: Colchester and Chelmsford, Essex
- Area E between 14:10 and 14:45: London
- Area F between 2.20pm and 3.00pm: Croydon, South East London and Epsom, Surrey
- Area G between 2:20 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.: Farnborough, Hampshire; Reading, Berkshire; Swindon, Wiltshire; and Oxford, Oxfordshire