Royal News

Prince Philip makes rare public appearance for military handover

On Wednesday, The Duke of Edinburgh made a rare public appearance in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle as he handed over his role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles Regiment to his daughter-in-law, The Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla, however, was not present at Windsor Castle and instead was taking part in a similar ceremony nearly 100 miles away from Prince Philip to mark the occasion.
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The Duke of Edinburgh seemed in high spirits as he arrived for the short ceremony – smiling and waving to photographers.

During the ceremony, Prince Philip was thanked for his 67 year service to The Rifles Regiment by Assistant Colonel Commander, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes. Four buglers from the Band and Bugles of The Rifles also stood to attention as The Duke of Edinburgh arrived.
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The Rifles is an infantry regiment of the British Army and was formed in 2007 when four of the most famous Regiments in the British Army were merged together into a modern and large Regiment optimised for 21st century warfare. The Regiment has five regular and three reserve battalions each configured for a specific infantry role. The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment while each battalion had its own Royal Colonel:

  • 1st Battalion – The Duke of Kent
  • 2nd Battalion – The Earl of Wessex
  • 3rd Battalion – Princess Alexandra
  • 4th Battalion – The Duchess of Cornwall
  • 5th Battalion – The Countess of Wessex
  • 6th Battalion – The Duke of Gloucester
  • 7th Battalion – The Duchess of Gloucester
  • 8th Battalion – To be announced.

Prince Philip has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for nearly seven decades and was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Wiltshire Regiment in 1953.
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The engagement on Wednesday marks the first public engagement for The Duke of Edinburgh in over a year. In June 2019, Prince Philip held an audience with General Sir Nicholas Carter who was relinquishing his appointment as Colonel Commandant of The Rifles.
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The Queen and Prince Philip have been residing at Windsor Castle since the week before the UK went into lockdown in March.

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