As Prince Philip continues to ease up his schedule and responsibilities at the age of 96, he today relinquished his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines today, passing the torch on to his grandson, Prince Harry.
“The Queen has given her formal approval to the appointment of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales as Captain General Royal Marines,” a Tweet from Kensington Palace read.
The Duke of Edinburgh has been the Royal Marines’ Captain General since 1953, making his tenure 64 years long; prior to this, George VI had been their ceremonial head.
In his final duty today, Prince Philip received the incoming and outgoing Commandants General of the unit -Major General Robert Magowan, Commandant General Royal Marines, and Major General Charles Stickland, Commandant General Royal Marines Designate – at Buckingham Palace.
Prince Harry was also there, to officially assume the role and get to know the new head; he wore the regimental tie (navy with red, green and yellow diagonal stripes) alongside the other men to denote his new position.
Like Philip, Harry has served his country in war, heading out on two tours of Afghanistan in late 2007 and 2012. The military is also one of the causes the newly-engaged Prince is most passionate about.
The Royal Marines are Britain’s amphibious unit of the armed forces, a branch of the Royal Navy. They are acknowledged as one of the world’s elite commando forces and are put through some of the most rigorous training to be allowed to wear the green beret.
Prince Harry’s role, like his grandfather’s, will be ceremonial, attending inspections and parades.
MG Magowan said: “Today, accompanied by my successor Major General Stickland, I had the honour to be received by The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace and to thank His Royal Highness for his outstanding commitment to the Corps over the last 64 years as our Captain General.
“In an ever changing world His Royal Highness has remained a reassuring constant. The Duke’s interest, support, encouragement, inspiration and ready humour will be sorely missed. We wish His Royal Highness well.
“I am delighted by the announcement that Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Prince Harry to be our next Captain General.
“I look forward to His Royal Highness developing a deep and enduring relationship with the Royal Marines and know that the Corps Family will provide the warmest of welcomes.”
The Duke of Edinburgh has passed over a number of patronages and responsibilities in recent years, including his colonelship of the Grenadier Guards (The Duke of York is now their colonel), his role as honorary commandant of the air cadets was handed to The Duchess of Cambridge in late 2015. Philip did, however, become a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order as a diamond anniversary gift from The Queen, for his personal services to the Monarch.
He officially retired from royal duties in August, and has made a handful of appearances since.