What time is the coronation flypast?

More than 60 planes are set to fly above Buckingham Palace, but there were fears the poor weather will have an impact on the Red Arrows display

Eleanor Noyce
Saturday 06 May 2023 14:44 BST

King and Queen Consort wait in royal carriage outside of Westminster Abbey

The iconic Red Arrows have taken part in a flypast to celebrate King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation this afternoon.

More than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including the Arrows – had been scheduled to fly over Buckingham Palace at around 2.30pm.

Half an hour before it was due to take place, the Ministry of Defence said it had been scaled back so only the Red Arrows and helicopters took part in the palace flyover.

The Red Arrows fly over The Mall as huge crowds gathered for the King

Many people outside London will still be able to see the display as the aircraft fly to and from the capital though.

The exact routes of the aircraft were not published in advance for security reasons. But airspace restrictions relating to the flypast revealed the areas being flown over.

There had been warnings that the poor weather conditions meant the Arrows would have to wait until the last minute to decide whether the Buckingham Palace display could go ahead.

“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”, squadron leader Tom Bould told ITV News on Saturday morning.

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

The Red Arrows flypast over Bournemouth has since been cancelled because of the poor weather conditions. The squad had been due to fly over the town shortly before 3pm.

The flypast was scaled back but the Red Arrows still made an appearance

The broad sections of the flypast route are;

  • Area A between 1.15pm and 3pm: The Lincolnshire coast including Skegness and the Norfolk coast including Cromer and Great Yarmouth
  • Area B between 1.45pm and 3pm: 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 2.10pm and 2.45pm: London
  • Area F between 2.20pm and 3pm: Croydon, south-east London, and Epsom, Surrey
  • Area G between 2.20pm and 3pm: Farnborough, Hampshire; Reading, Berkshire; Swindon, Wiltshire; and Oxford, Oxfordshire

The Red Arrows’ expected coronation flyover route

The website Military Airshows has also published more specific timings and locations for the Red Arrows, subject to any last-minute changes due to the weather.

1.50pm – RAF Waddington

1.35pm – Southeast of Methringham

1.58pm – East of Skegness

2.05pm – Over the North Sea

2.13pm – East of Caister-on-Sea

2.18pm - Over the North Sea

2.23pm – Woodbridge Airfield

2.27pm – Colchester

2.34pm – Fairlop

2.35pm – Leyton

2.36pm – Buckingham Palace

2.38pm – Heathrow

2.40pm – Windsor

2.42pm – Reading

2.44pm – Hook

2.47pm – North of Winchester

2.53pm – Bournemouth (cancelled)

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