11 August 2023

King reshuffles military roles with new duties for William and Kate

11 August 2023

The King has reshuffled military appointments for working members of the royal family as the anniversary of the late Queen’s death approaches, with three extra roles each for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Charles has taken over eight of his mother’s former honorary posts himself, including sponsor of the Royal Navy’s warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, and has shared some of his own affiliations now he is King.

His post-accession housekeeping also includes handing over two of the disgraced Duke of York’s previous roles to Kate and the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Kate becomes Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, while Sophie is now Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Irish Regiment – roles held by Andrew before he returned them to the late Queen while he faced a civil sexual assault trial, which he later paid millions to settle.

The princess also takes over from her husband William as Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby, an appointment held since 2008.

And Kate is the new Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, known as the Welsh Cavalry, a duty which was carried out by her father-in-law Charles when he was the Prince of Wales.

Buckingham Palace said: “Following His Majesty’s accession, the King is pleased to announce further military appointments for working members of the royal family.

“The new appointments will continue to reflect the close relationship between the armed forces and the royal family in His Majesty’s reign.”

The roles highlight the key members of the working royal family who are supporting the King in his duties.

William has added Colonel-in-Chief of The Mercian Regiment, Colonel-in-Chief of The Army Air Corps and Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Valley to his growing list of military commitments.

He spent three years at RAF Valley in Anglesey, north Wales, as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

The Queen also has a new appointment, with Camilla becoming patron of The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, a position held by the late Queen.

Taking on his mother’s duties, Charles, who is head of the armed forces as well as head of state,  is now Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Royal Tank Regiment and The Royal Regiment of Scotland; Captain General of both The Royal Artillery and The Honourable Artillery Company; Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham and Air Commodore-in-Chief of RAF Regiment.

The Duke of Edinburgh has followed in his father Prince Philip’s footsteps to become Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Royal Hussars, which was left vacant when the duke died in 2021.

Edward is also succeeding his brother Charles as Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Dragoon Guards.

His wife Sophie has taken on the King’s post of Royal Colonel of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry.

The Princess Royal has been appointed Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland by the King in recognition of her strong links to the country.

The late Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, becomes Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and the Duchess of Gloucester is Colonel-in-Chief of the Adjutant General’s Corps, which were both held by Elizabeth II.

The late Queen, who died a year ago next month, held more than 50 ranks and appointments in the UK and Commonwealth Armed Service.

There are no positions for the King’s second son the Duke of Sussex, but this is not unexpected.

Harry, a former solider who served in Afghanistan, is not a working member of the royal family.

He lost his military roles after stepping down as a senior working royal in 2020.

A previous wave of military appointments was announced in December.

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