Buckingham Palace have announced the appointment of The King as the new ceremonial head of the Royal Marines, taking on the role of Captain General.
The announcement was made on the 358th anniversary of the founding of the Corps of Royal Marines, which were formed on 28th October 1664 during the reign of King Charles II. The appointment of the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines has historically been held by the Monarch, including The King’s grandfather, George VI, and great-grandfather, George V.
In a personal message to the Royal Marines as they mark their 358th birthday today, King Charles has said: ‘It is the greatest possible pleasure to assume the role of your Captain General. I am exceptionally proud to follow in the footsteps of so many members of my family over the last three and a half centuries, all of whom held the role with a deep sense of admiration.
‘The Royal Marines have a distinguished and unparalleled history, both on land and at sea. I draw immense inspiration from your courage, determination, self-discipline and a remarkable capacity to endure in the most extreme environments.
‘I feel greatly honoured to become part of the Corps Family and very much look forward to meeting many of you in the near future. In the meantime, this comes with my heartfelt and special wishes for a very happy 358th birthday.’
‘Per Mare, Per Terram’ – the motto of the Royal Marines meaning ‘By Sea, By Land’ in Latin – reflects their amphibious expertise.
The King has a long-standing history with the Royal Navy as the then-Prince of Wales has marked on a career in the Navy, where he trained at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone, Devon, to qualify as a helicopter pilot in 1974.
His career in the Royal Navy followed in the footsteps of His Majesty’s father, grandfather and both his great-grandfathers, having served on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates.
Charles later served alongside Royal Marines on board HMS Hermes, as part of 845 Naval Air Squadron, where he completed military exercises in the Western Atlantic and the West Indies, serving alongside a detachment of Royal Marines. He served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976.
On 9th February 1976, the Prince took command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington for his last nine months in the Royal Navy. He used his naval pension to set up The Prince’s Trust.