Buckingham Palace has announced new military positions for working members of the Royal Family, as the first anniversary of The King’s accession approaches.
Charles is now Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The royal-military link is centuries old, with almost all royal men serving in the military – though appointments of this kind are ceremonial.
A Royal will be involved in major milestones and celebrations for their affiliations, and kept regularly informed of each group’s activities including deployment or achievements.
As Head of the Armed Force, The King will take on the following additional military affiliations:
– Sponsor of HMS Queen Elizabeth (the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier and largest warship)
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (a light cavalry regiment that specialises in reconnaissance, and the oldest cavalry regiment)
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Tank Regiment (created during WWI and the oldest tank unit in the world)
– Captain General of The Royal Artillery (one half of the UK’s artillery regiments)
– Captain General of The Honourable Artillery Company (a reserve regiment, created by Henry VIII)
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Regiment of Scotland (the senior line infantry regiment and only Scottish line infantry of the British Army)
– Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham (one of the main RAF bases)
– Air Commodore-in-Chief of RAF Regiment (an air infantry regiment)
Queen Camilla, meanwhile, has become Patron of The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, a role previously held by Elizabeth II. The Chaplains support army personnel pastorally.
Back in June, The Queen was announced as the new Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Lancers, the division in which her late father, Major Bruce Shand, served in with the 12th Lancers during World War II.
The Prince of Wales been given the following military appointments:
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Army Air Corps (the combat aviation arm of the British Army)
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Mercian Regiment
– Royal Honorary Air Commodore of R.A.F. Valley (William spent three years at the base as an RAF search and rescue pilot).
The Princess of Wales has become:
– Commodore-in-Chief of Fleet Air Arm (the naval aviation group; a role previously held by The Duke of York)
– Colonel-in-Chief of 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards (specialists in reconnaissance, and generally recruit in Wales; a role previously held by her father-in-law, King Charles III)
– Royal Honorary Air Commodore of R.A.F. Coningsby (home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; a role previously held by her husband for 15 years).
Catherine also has deeper family links to the RAF, as her grandfather, Captain Peter Middleton, served as a fighter pilot during the Second World War.
In addition to becoming Colonel of The London Guards, the reserves for the iconic bearskin-wearing Guards Division, The Duke of Edinburgh has been announced as:
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Royal Hussars (the UK’s most senior armoured regiment)
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Dragoon Guards (armoured cavalry).
The Duchess of Edinburgh has become:
– Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Irish Regiment (a role previously held by The Duke of York)
– Royal Colonel of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry (a reserve light cavalry regiment).
Due to her strong links to Scotland and existing links as Colonel-in-Chief of both 1st Battalion The Ranger Regiment (formerly 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland) and 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Princess Royal has become Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. She will deputise for her brother, The King.
The Duke of Gloucester has become Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Auxiliary Air Force, after being Patron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation since 2012. The force is part of the RAF reserves. Prince Richard’s mother, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was Commandant of the Womens’ Auxiliary Air Force from 1939 to 1944.
The Duchess of Gloucester has become Colonel-in-Chief of the Adjutant General’s Corps, responsible for most of the army’s administration. She held the appointment of Deputy Colonel-in-Chief for the corps since 1992.