King Charles has praised his son Prince William as a "very good pilot indeed".

The 75-year-old monarch formally handed the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to his eldest son on their first official joint engagement since September 2022 at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, Hampshire on Monday (13.05.24) and though he admitted he had "great sadness" at handing over the post to the Prince Of Wales, he knows it is in good hands.

Charles - who is still receiving treatment for cancer - said: “I did just want to say what a great joy it is to be with you, even briefly, on this occasion.

“But also, it turns with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all, and admiring all your many activities and your achievements throughout the time that I’ve been lucky enough to be Colonel-in-Chief of the Army over.

After stressing his "intense admiration" for their operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, he added: “All I can say is that having had the pleasure of knowing you for so long, I do hope you’ll go from strength to strength in the future with the Prince of Wales as your new Colonel-in-Chief.

“The great thing is he’s a very good pilot indeed, so that’s encouraging. So look after yourselves, and I can’t tell you how proud it has made me to have been involved with you all this time.”

William - who served in the Army as a Platoon Commander in The Blues and Royals, and also completed flying training in the Royal Air Force before working as a search-and-rescue pilot for the service - was announced as the new Colonel-in-Chief last August following his father's accession to the throne.

He and his father last undertook an official public engagement together when they met members of the public during a walkabout among the crowds following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

They have subsequently attended family engagements and semi-private appearances together, such as at the coronation and Christmas at Sandringham, but this was their first public meeting since both the king and William's wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales - who is undergoing chemotherapy after having major abdominal surgery earlier this year - stepped back for medical reasons.