The Queen has been pleased to give her formal approval to the appointment of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales as Captain General Royal Marines.
Prince Harry will assume the role in succession to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Pictured left to right at Buckingham Palace: Major General Robert Magowan (outgoing Commandant General Royal Marines), His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh (outgoing Captain General Royal Marines), His Royal Highness Prince Harry (incoming Captain General Royal Marines) and Major General Charles Stickland (incoming Commandant General Royal Marines). Official photo.
The Duke’s association with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years, to 2 June 1953, when he was appointed Captain General in succession to the late King George VI.
The Duke’s final official duty as Captain General was to receive Major General Robert Magowan, Commandant General Royal Marines, and Major General Charles Stickland, Commandant General Royal Marines Designate.
Prince Harry was also present upon becoming Captain General Royal Marines.
The Royal Marines
The Corps of the Royal Marines is at the heart of the Royal Navy’s amphibious capability, acknowledged as one of the world’s elite commando forces, with a long and illustrious history.
On 28 October 1664 the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot became Britain’s first ‘sea soldiers’. On 1 August 1923, the Royal Marines Artillery amalgamated with the Royal Marines Light Infantry to become ‘The Royal Marines’.
Royal Marines as Commandos emerged during and after World War II.
Today, the Royal Marines number some 6650 officers and men. Many are deployed on operations at home and abroad, or held at high readiness to deploy by sea or land around the globe in support of our nation’s interests. Royal Marines Commandos are evolving to meet the threats of the future, as they have done throughout their 353 year history.
Prince Harry’s military career
Prince Harry began his military career as an officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005 and, after successfully completing his training course, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).
He went on to serve with the British Armed Forces for 10 years, where he undertook two operational tours of Afghanistan, the first in 2007/08 as a forward air controller.
Shortly after returning to the UK Prince Harry was promoted to lieutenant, still with The Household Cavalry.
Prince Harry began training as an Army Air Corps pilot in 2009. Following the completion of his Army Pilot’s Course he was selected to train as an Apache pilot and began the 18-month Apache training course, during which he was awarded the prize for best co-pilot gunner. He became a fully operational Apache attack helicopter pilot in February 2012.
At the end of 2012, Prince Harry undertook his second tour of duty to Afghanistan, this time as an Apache pilot.
In July 2013, he qualified as Apache aircraft commander.
In early 2014 Prince Harry completed his attachment to the Army Air Corps and transferred to a staff-officer role in HQ London District, where he helped organise the inaugural Invictus Games in London – an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
In March 2015, Kensington Palace announced that after a fulfilling military career, Prince Harry would leave the Armed Forces holding the rank of captain.
He left operational service in June 2015 but remains passionate about promoting the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country.